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JNU Campus Violence: VC Urges Peace; Says 'top Priority Is To Protect Academic Interests'

Amid calls for resignation from JNU Students Union & teachers' community, JNU vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar called for peace after a night of violence.


Amid calls for resignation from JNU Students Union (JNUSU) and teachers' community, JNU vice-chancellor (VC) M. Jagadesh Kumar called for peace and asserted that the top priority of the University is to protect the academic interests of the students. Furthermore, assured that the semester registration  would be held without 'hinderance.'

VC M. Jagadesh Kumar said, "Would like to appeal to all students to maintain peace. University stands by all the students to facilitate their pursuit of academic activities. We will ensure that their winter semester registration will take place without any hindrance. They need not fear about their process. The top priority of the University is to protect the academic interests of our students."

The morning after violence was unleashed on students, the JNUSU and teachers' community demanded the removal of the vice-chancellor, calling the violence an attempt to "terrorise the students." The JNUSU further held VC responsible for the violence.  "This Vice-Chancellor is a cowardly Vice-Chancellor who introduces illegal policies through the backdoor, runs away from the questions of students or teachers and then manufactures a situation to demonize JNU," said a statement from JNUSU. "For nearly seventy days now, the students of JNU have been fighting a courageous battle to save their university from the clutches of privatisation and greed. The VC is adamant that by sending a message that a fee hike has happened in JNU, he can prove that accessible education is not possible," it added.

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"He is using henchmen to perpetrate violence on students and vandalise the university," said JNUSU "The JNU community has a single point of demand. That either this VC resigns or the MHRD as the competent authority remove him! Those who are trying to malign and destroy this university will not succeed," demanded JNUSU. 

JNU violence

Violence broke out at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday night as masked men armed with sticks and rods attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police which conducted a flag march. At least 28 people, including JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.

Eyewitnesses alleged the attackers entered the premises when a meeting was being held by JNU Teachers' Association on the issue of violence on campus and assaulted students and professors. They also barged into three hostels. Video footage aired by some TV channels showed a group of men, who were brandishing hockey sticks and rods, moving around a building. The Left-controlled JNUSU and the RSS-backed ABVP blamed each other for the incident.

Senior Union ministers and JNU alumni S Jaishankar and Nirmala Sitharaman too condemned the violence. Sitharaman said the pictures of violence were horrifying and asserted that the government wants universities to be safe spaces for all students. Amid allegations of delayed action, Delhi Police said it conducted a flag march and the situation was brought under control after it got a written request from the JNU administration to enter the campus. It, however, did not say if any arrests had been made.

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(with PTI inputs) 

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