Published: 26th March 2019
I have forgiven you, says JNU VC. What on earth for, ask students as hunger strike continues
The JNU VC claimed the students broke into his house but the police and other sections of media present on campus contradicted his statement
The JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar Mamidala has tweeted that he has 'forgiven' the students who 'broke into his house' and that he and his wife have decided to not file a police complaint — which is in sharp contradiction to what students and the Delhi police are claiming went down on Monday night. The JNUSU and hundreds of other students had marched to the Mamidala residence as he has been refusing a meeting with them even as students enter their eighth day of hunger strike.
Mamidala tweeted that hundreds of students had broken into his house while his wife was alone at home. He called the incident 'unfortunate' and asked if 'terrorising a lonely lady at home' was a way to protest. This morning though he said in a tweet that he had 'forgiven' the students.
Few hundred students have broken into my residence at JNU and have confined my wife inside the house. She is alone at home and terrified. Very unfortunate.— Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar (@mamidala90) March 25, 2019
This evening few hundred students forcibly broke into my JNU residence and confined my wife inside home for several hours while I was away in a meeting. Is it the way to protest? Terrorosing a lonely lady at home?— Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar (@mamidala90) March 25, 2019
While last night's violent behavior by students in front my JNU residence is condemnable, neither me nor my wife will file a police complaint against the students. We have forgiven them. Wish them the best and hope they will reform and not repeat such acts in future.— Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar (@mamidala90) March 26, 2019
However, the JNUSU denied the allegation and said that they had left after being told the VC was not there to meet them. The Delhi police who were present on campus also corroborated the students' version of the events, in some reports.
JNUSU President N Sai Balaji said that the VC is only trying to make excuses to not talk to them, "What is he forgiving us for? The police have stated that we didn't get violent or do anything, so this is just another way of refusing to speak to us," he said. Balaji said he would be willing to have a debate with the VC even on 'Republic TV' or on Skype, "If he doesn't want to come out here and talk to us, then let's talk on a live debate. I would be ready to speak to him in front of everyone. He's only refusing to speak to us because he knows that he's in the wrong."
Adding that the VC is just trying to propagate the BJP's 'Jio model of education', Balaji said, "These policies, like the Rs 12 lakh MBA fees, affect all students and yet the ABVP has not come out to support its own students. That goes to show the administration is dancing to the music of the BJP."
Marching Ahead: The JNUSU leading the march to the JNU VC's residence after they coulnd't meet him at his office
For the last eight days, 11 students have been on a hunger strike to protest against administrative policies. They have repeatedly requested for a meeting with the VC but he has not paid any need. Several students have had to be rushed to the hospital and doctors have warned of permanent damage to their bodies, but the students have refused to give up on their strike.
Since the situation was getting quite grave, the JNUSU had decided to march to the VC's office and demand a meeting. However, since it yielded no results, they decided to march to his house. But in his tweet, Mamidala said that he had been 'away on a meeting'. In a statement, the JNUSU said that they approached the VC's residents in the hope of a 'constructive dialogue'. "We categorically reject the falsehood being spread by the VC. The JNUSU after waiting, returned to the protest venue," the JNUSU said in their statement.
The Student Union also added that the Delhi police also corroborated their side of the story and established that there was no threat or gherao and that the situation was peaceful. "Even sections of the media on campus have reported that there was no threatening situation and upon receiving that the VC was not there to meet them, they went back to their hostel," they added.
The students are continuing on their hunger strike despite many of them being taken seriously ill and being admitted in the hospital.