Published: 31st October 2019
JNU admin offers to keep reading rooms open till midnight. Students unhappy, demand 24x7 access
The gate connecting the SIS-I and II will remain closed on weekends and holidays and will open only at 9 am and will be closed at 5.30 pm on other days
The Jawaharlal Nehru University has decided to keep the reading rooms of the School of International Studies open till midnight but the students are not too happy about it. The students, who demanded 24-hour reading rooms said that this was just an attempt to undermine the ongoing protests by the students and reaction to it.
A notice issued by the Dean of SIS, Dr Ashwini K Mohapatra, said that keeping the requests by students and faculty in mind the chairpersons of the School have decided to consider to keep Reading Room 16 open till 12 pm instead of closing it at 9 pm but only after more security guards are made available by the university. The gate connecting the SIS-I and II will remain closed on weekends and holidays and will open only at 9 am and will be closed at 5.30 pm on other days.
"We do not accept this diktat at all. This is just a farce in retaliation to our ongoing protests. The Dean knows very well that there is a very slim chance of getting one guard per reading room," said Satish Chandra, General Secretary of the JNU Students' Union. "They also said that they won't allow students from other Schools to enter the SIS reading rooms. This is unprecedented in JNU. We are all students of the same institution and students have used reading rooms of other Schools for ages. This is simply unacceptable," said Satish.
The JNU lockdown entered its third day with students continuing their protest on campus against the administration and specifically Dean of Students Umesh Kadam. The students have been fighting over various issues including a proposed hostel fee hike, electricity charges and mainly demanding the revocation of the 'regressive' draft hostel manual. Students from a majority of JNU's 18 hostels have joined in on the protest as well.
The students are "mobilising students from every hostel to come out in protest". The students have been protesting at the School area from the morning armed with posters and slogans against the VC and the alleged 'curfew raj'. "Students from the hostels have been joining us to protest against the regressive draft hostel manual and we will continue our strike and protest till the administration listens to us," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, a member of Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organisation (BASO) and a recently-elected Councillor in JNUSU. "The JNUSU will have a meeting to discuss the future course of action tonight at 9.