Published: 05th November 2019
Ex-presidents of JNUSU asked to appear for proctorial enquiry amidst protests, students ask for evidence
Geeta and Balaji were asked to appear before the Proctor on November 7 at 3 pm in Room 108 of the Administrative Building on campus for protesting in front of the admin block
As the protests keep getting bigger at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the administration has now issued notices to former JNUSU President Geeta Kumari and N Sai Balaji for protesting in front of the Administrative Block and brought charges of violation of a Delhi High Court order that prohibits demonstrations within 100 meters of the admin block.
Geeta and Balaji were asked to appear before the proctor on November 7 at 3 pm in Room 108 of the Administrative Building on campus for protesting in front of the admin block violating the HC order and university rules. "The Proctor Office has never failed my expectations and has always been extremely spontaneous and precise in targeting me and other student activists for alleged misconducts that I've been involved in. However, this particular notice has taken me by surprise because of the sheer anxiety the admin has to punish me for continuously exposing and speaking against their anti-student policies – in the letter," said Balaji. "Isn't it amazing that now I have to myself find out the time, venue and whereabouts of the alleged actions that the proctorial enquiry was seeking justification on from me? So the investigator, judge and audience are me, the proctor office will just punish me despite not having any evidence," he added. Balaji sent a letter to the Proctor asking for a copy of the complaint against him, the security report and any material evidence against him in the matter.
"At a time, when JNU students have been fighting to save their cultural and social spaces like PSR, JNUSU office, standing tall against the draconian hostel manual, the JNU admin is selectively targeting the student activists, present and former JNUSU office-bearers, in a specious bid to create chilling effect and destabilise our movement and unity," a statement by AISA read. They appealed to the students to fight back "this witch hunt and repression and standby every student who is being targeted and assert that this is a movement of 8500 students and this targeting and witch-hunt won't be allowed. We should assert what JNU stands for, hold high the banner of affordable, accessible and quality education."
The students also went to file a missing person report for JNU VC Mamidala Jagdesh Kumar at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station in Delhi. In case you're wondering, no, he is not really missing. But the students said that they have not heard from the VC in a long time and they would really like to talk to him
"We have been trying to talk to him for so long but have not received any answer from him. We think he has gone missing. Thus the silence," said Former JNUSU President N Sai Balaji, one of the leaders at the forefront of the lockdown movement that entered its seventh day today. The students had issued an ultimatum, that expired at 12 pm today, to the university administration to respond to their demands about various issues including a proposed hostel fee hike, electricity charges and mainly demanding the revocation of the 'regressive' draft hostel manual.
Earlier today, CRPF jawans were spotted on campus near the Birsa Munda Marg. Balaji put out a tweet followed by several others asking why there were special forces on campus. Is there an imminent cause for violence? "The Delhi Police have been informed and they are looking into it to find out how the personnel got in," said Balaji, who had tweeted photos that showed a handful of the paramilitary personnel at the Birsa Munda Marg. "Why is the CRPF here? To defend the massive fee hike in JNU?" asked Balaji and also threw a challenge at the VC, "Let's see who is stronger Mamidala."
In response to the students' ultimatum, the registrar, on Sunday night, had sent across a note of "caution" to students, warning them against protesting at the Administration Block as it had been prohibited by a Delhi High Court order. "Several pamphlets have come to the notice of the administration calling for Satyagraha and Marches and calling for students to assemble or pass through legally prohibited areas of the campus. This is to caution those who are planning to take part that this will be clear contempt of the decision of the Delhi High Court," read the Registrar's notice. He also added that "peaceful protests" could be conducted at the Sabarmati Lawn as per JNU's rules.
Explaining why this wasn't cutting any ice with the students, Apeksha Priyadarshini, BASO member said, "In the last week, ever since the IHA meeting was arbitrarily convened, students have been outraged and mobilising consistently. The numbers don't seem to be dwindling and this has really scared the admin. They've already started sending enquiry notices to some of us, but nothing is deterring the students anymore."
She added that perhaps dialogue would be a much simpler solution, "That's why this need to "control" the situation. They're directing their energies in the wrong place. Instead of calling CRPF, if they would just call and sit down with the student representatives to talk about what students want, there wouldn't be so much discontent in the first place. This is plain authoritarian."
The administration could not be reached to comment on the issue.