No consensus on allowing cops inside JNU campus

Jawaharlal Nehru University on Tuesday failed to reach a consensus on whether it should allow police to enter the campus to arrest five wanted students, but indicated that it was under some pressure to take “firm action” action against them.

A meeting of top JNU officials, chaired by the VC on Tuesday, deliberated on return of the five students to the campus.

 The university has failed to take a decision on whether the police should be allowed to enter the campus for making arrests or the students should be asked to surrender.

The five students, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, JNUSU General Secretary Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anant Prakash, were in hiding after JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest on February 12.

The VC said there has been no communication between the university authorities and police since the accused students resurfaced on the campus.

Earlier on Tuesday, ex-servicemen led by General N S Malik met JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to express concern over the February 9 event commemorating the "judicial killing" of Afzal Guru, a 2001 Parliament attack convict.

According to a JNU administration press note, many in the university are worried over "unlawful activities" in the campus. In his discussion with “staff and Karamcharis Association” on Monday, the VC was requested to take “effective steps in the matter”.

The university administration decided to include two new members in the three member high-level committee, which has been set up it to inquire into the February 9 event.

The decision was taken on Tuesday evening in a meeting called by M Jagadesh Kumar with deans of all JNU schools and chairpersons of all the special centres to discuss steps being taken to restore normalcy on campus.

According to university insiders, the VC has accepted most of the demands put forward by university students and teachers.

“The name of two new members will be finalised soon,” said a university source. However, some senior faculty members present in the meeting opposed the VC’s decision.

“It feels as if the VC has surrendered before the JNU Teachers’ Association,” said another member present in the meeting.

‘Beyond control’
Amid demands from a section of teachers and students that the JNU administration should seek Kanhaiya’s release and dropping of sedition charge, the university authorities said both the issues are beyond its control.

“We have not arrested Kanhaiya, we have also not charged anyone with sedition. It is for the police and court to take a call in this matter,” JNU Registrar Bhupinder Zutshi said.

“The university never asked the police to enter the campus. We will see when police asks us for permission,” Zutshi said.

The five accused, who were earlier sitting in protest outside the JNU administrative block on Monday, are said to be in their hostels now, according to a university source.

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