JNU students, staff seek vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar’s ouster

Students’ union, faculty members accuse police of inaction during Sunday’s attack by goons

January 06, 2020 09:29 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 12:27 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) on Monday demanded the immediate removal of JNU Vice-Chancellor M. Jagdeesh Kumar following the brutal attack by masked goons on the university campus on Sunday night.

Under fire for allowing the violence to continue, the Delhi police said an FIR had been registered against “unknown persons” for rioting and damage to property. No arrests have been made so far.

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34 treated for injuries

Thirty-four persons injured in the attack, who were brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Sunday night, were discharged after treatment. One teacher was taken to Safdarjung Hospital and later discharged, an official said.

“Several students had broken limbs and head injuries. They were discharged after first aid,” said a senior official at the AIIMS.

“I was specifically targeted on Sunday during a peace march on the campus. Around 20-25 masked persons disrupted the march and attacked me with iron rods,” said JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh at a press conference, her arm in a cast and bandages on her head — she required at least 15 stitches following the attack.

The BJP’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), denied it was behind Sunday’s attacks, as alleged by both the JNUSU and the JNUTA.

JNU attack ‘yet another reminder of growing intolerance in India’: Pakistan Foreign Minister  

The outfit, in turn, blamed Ms. Ghosh’s left-wing union for orchestrating the violence. It also claimed that many of its activists were injured, but did not present any to the media.

The JNUSU and a number of faculty members have accused the Delhi police of being bystanders to the violence and allowing the attackers to leave the premises after going on the rampage for several hours.

‘A shameful episode’

“The violence that happened on Sunday is the result of the desperation and frustration of the V-C and his cronies. But the chronology of events that unfolded is a shameful episode for the Delhi police who gave a safe passage to ABVP goons imported from outside. For days now, the administration has been unable to break our protest. Since 4th January, ABVP people were directed as henchmen of the V-C to come and beat up students. They used lathis and pipes on that day,” JNUSU alleged in a statement.

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In a separate development, the JNUTA has written an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind on the connivance between the attackers and the JNU administration.

“The JNUTA with full sense of responsibility accuses the JNU Administration headed by the Vice-Chancellor of being responsible for the orgy of violence in JNU…It is evident that without the connivance of the Administration, the entry into the campus of several of the goons who were not from the campus, and their subsequent exit without being caught, would not have been possible.”

“There are also reports from different eyewitnesses that members of the JNU Administration helped some such people in gaining entry and then provided shelter to them in their residences on campus. The absence of any action for several hours by the Security or the Police to stop the violence, despite being informed of it, also reveals the complicity of the Administration in the violence…,” JNUTA added.

Professor Jayati Ghosh, who teaches at JNU, said in a tweet: “This was a planned, state-sponsored attack on #JNU when all other attempts to break the struggle of the students had failed, and when a compromise solution was clearly in sight. The Modi-Shah government wants JNU destroyed.”

The V-C, however, showed no signs of relenting from his stand and claimed in a statement that “the origin of the present situation” lies in some agitating students “turning violent” and obstructing academic activities of other students.

“No such person will be spared and appropriate action taken,” Dr. Kumar warned.

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