Published: 08th April 2021
JNU starts enquiry on student who was not on campus and 11 others for breaking into Central Library
The students had said that they were suffering a major academic loss without access to the reading rooms and the library and were protesting for a long time
The Jawaharlal Nehru University has initiated Proctoral enquiries on students who allegedly broke into the BR Ambedkar Central Library on March 10. The students said that they were protesting to open the reading rooms and had gone inside to meet the Librarian and never left — there was no physical altercation or vandalism involved. What is surprising is that Sucheta Talukdar, one of the students named in the Chief Security Officer's report says that she has not been on campus since November 2020.
Aishe Ghosh, JNUSU President who is currently contesting elections in West Bengal, was part of the protest as well. But Sucheta who was allegedly not part of it was named in the CSO report. She said that she had already left the campus five months prior to the incident and had nothing to do with it. "I left the campus in November and came back to Kolkata where I am currently working. I have two other Proctorial enquiries which are pending and I have not been given my degree yet. But this is ridiculous," said Sucheta who has not received the letter from the Proctor's office yet.
The students had said that they were suffering a major academic loss without access to the reading rooms and the library and were protesting for a long time. "From the past several months, several representations were given to the Chief Librarian by the JNUSU, while physical protests were ongoing. The JNU administration was continuously dilly-dallying the re-opening of the BR Ambedkar Central Library and other reading rooms, which was causing huge academic loss to students, with no access to books and materials, the visually impaired students were not able to access the Hellen Keller Unit, leading to exclusion of students from research and academics," Aishe had told Edex.
While the students reiterated that there were no altercations with the security guards, the administration in its notice has said that the students had forcefully gone inside after penetrating the human chain of security personnel. But the students said that the doors were not even locked and they just walked into the reading room and started studying. "The doors were open and we just entered the reading rooms. We will follow every COVID-19 protocol diligently. other universities have opened their libraries, so why not JNU. We have spoken to Chief Librarian Manorama Tripathi but she repeated what she had said two months ago — they need around 10 more days," Saket Moon, Vice-President of the JNUSU, had told EdexLive on March 10.
The students have said that they will comply with the enquiry and cooperate as well. "We will participate in the enquiry. We just wanted to study," said Kaushik Raj, an MPhil student at the university. The All India Students' Association (AISA) condemned the enquiry notices and said that the administration should roll them back. "Not many people in the history of human civilisation were against the idea of opening up a public library. JNU admin is the newest member to join that club," said the AISA statement.