Jawaharlal Nehru University which has been the centre of protests since the beginning of this year saw a new agitation today, this time over its iconic Ganga Dhaba whose owner has been served an eviction notice by the administration.
Ganga Dhaba, which opens at 4 PM and feeds hungry students till 3 in the morning at nominal prices, is one of the favourite hotspots of the campus besides being a perfect place for campus debates. The owner of the eatery was served an eviction notice last week and was asked to vacate the place till today morning. However, the students gathered at the dhaba protesting against the alleged attack by the administration of the culture of the campus.
“The new JNU administration has been proving itself as an agent, who is appointed to destroy the JNU in every manner. It has left no single instance to take the opportunity to implement all its diktats to shrink the campus democracy. It has been using the February 9 incident as a pretext to justify all its decisions,” JNUSU General Secretary Rama Naga said.
“Now, it has decided to shutdown the Ganga Dhaba for ever. The administration has sent a ‘final letter’ to the owner of the Ganga Dhaba by saying that it will shut down the eatery,” he added. JNU Vice Chancellor said the administration does not intend to “close down” the dhaba but all commercial spaces operating on the campus have to adhere to rules and the dhaba owner Bharat Tomar doesn’t have a license to function there.
“Ganga Dhaba is not being closed by JNU administration. It is considered as JNU heritage. Since the present occupant is illegally occupying the premises, he has been asked to vacate the place so that tendering procedure may be initiated at the earliest to run the eatery,” a senior varsity official said.
“Tomar is free to apply for the tender and seek a new contract,” he added. The JNU authorities have stiffened the rules on campus after the sedition row in February where few students were booked under the charge for organising an event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.