The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration on Thursday alleged that a group of students broke into the central library and clashed with the staffers following which an FIR was registered with the police.
The university claimed that the students have been occupying the library for the last two days. The chief proctor office has been tasked with taking necessary disciplinary action against these students as per the university rules, it said.
According to the police, the incident took place on June 8 and based on a complaint from the university’s Chief Security Officer, a case was registered on Wednesday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South West) Ingit Pratap Singh said: “Based on the complaint, a case was registered under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, Delhi Disaster Management Act and prevention of damage to public property Act.”
No arrest has been made in the case so far, police said, adding that a meeting between the students and chief librarian was held.
The varsity said a group of students scuffled with the security staffers, broke open the side glass door of the B.R. Ambedkar Library, entered the main reading room of the building on June 8 and has occupied the space since then. It added that they did not vacate the building even during the night.
COVID norms flouted
“When no amount of persuasion by the librarian and the security personnel convinced these students against violating the law and COVID-19 guidelines, the JNU security office lodged a police complaint in view of the seriousness of the issue. It has been found that these students do not even use masks or follow other COVID-19 related guidelines,” the university statement said.
The curfew imposed by the Delhi government is still in place and no new guidelines have yet been announced regarding resuming normal academic activities, it said.
In a statement, the university said: “This [incident] has caused health risk for library staffers and even other students residing in the hostels, since these unruly students return to hostel for lunch and dinner or other purposes.”
“The students occupying the space are not permitting library staffers to sanitise the building for making it safer for students who will use the library after restoration of normalcy. All these students are instructed to vacate the library immediately,” it said.
A student, requesting anonymity, said: “The library has not opened for a long time, which has left PhD students frustrated. Students have their submissions due and have not been able to access the library. The students entered the library but there was no violence.”
Meanwhile, JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) termed the varsity’s action as an “intimidation tactic” and demanded withdrawal of the FIR. In a statement issued, the students’ body said: “The JNUSU reiterates that the university administration must reopen the library at the earliest. The administration must also withdraw the FIR and focus on issues faced by the JNU community.”
This article was originally published on The Hindu