Published: 06th January 2020
Is JNU safe in the hands of someone engineering such violence? JNUTA writes to President demanding resignation of VC
The JNUTA also stated that some of the teachers have sustained head injuries and vehicles belonging to teachers were also smashed during the violence on campus on January 5
After unprecedented violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on Sunday evening, the JNU teachers' association has demanded the immediate removal of the varsity's Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar in an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. On January 5, 50-odd people with their faces covered entered the campus with lathis and rods and went on a rampage, attacking students as well as teachers. Professor Sucharita Sen from the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences was severely injured and was taken to AIIMS along with other injured students.
Stating that this is the third open letter they have addressed to the President, JNUTA wrote, "We have written to you twice before regarding the crisis in Jawaharlal Nehru University and the urgent need for the removal of Professor M Jagadesh Kumar from his position as the Vice-Chancellor of the university. Yesterday's unprecedented events at the university have served to highlight once again the extremely grave consequences of delay in heeding to our appeal. In a shocking display of administrative malfeasance, a mob armed with stones, rods and lathis was unleashed on students and teachers of JNU on January 5, 2020."
The JNUTA also stated that some of the teachers have sustained head injuries and vehicles belonging to teachers were also smashed. "Even before this, at least two individual teachers had been picked on by the mob and thrashed and the cycle belonging to one of them was damaged. Subsequently, the New Transit House (NTH) Teachers Quarters were targeted and the families of teachers living there were terrorised as their doors and windows were smashed and they were subjected to threats and abuses. The mob even managed to enter some of the houses in the NTH complex," the JNUTA wrote.
The teachers strongly condemned the fact that even as all this was happening, the Delhi police which was already present inside the campus did nothing — and later justified it by saying they had not till then been given permission by the VC to enter the campus. "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," they added.
On behalf of the teachers of JNU, the JNUTA urged the President to see what can only be "described as the crystal-clear truth and act on it."
"Can a prestigious university be left in the hands of someone who is capable of descending to the level of a street thug and engineer the inflicting of this kind of barbarism on the University community? Can such a person be considered an academic at all, let alone one of high standing? Doesn't the administration's conduct yesterday only reinforce what we have repeatedly said — that he has no interest in promoting teaching-learning and needs to go if any resolution to the crisis of his own making is to be resolved?" they asked.
Finally, they demanded a thorough and impartial investigation into everything that happened in JNU on Sunday but they said, "That cannot happen if Jagadesh Kumar remains in charge. He must, therefore, be immediately removed from his office. We request you to act on this immediately and appreciating our sentiment that enough is enough."