ATTEMPTS OF the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration to install CCTV cameras at the entrances to its hostels have been rejected by the JNU Students’ union (JNUSU), who termed the act “authoritarian”. Mohit Pandey, president of JNUSU, said they found out about the move only after they saw some workers completing the wiring work at Brahmaputra Hostel.
“The hostel president, warden and caretaker did not have any knowledge about this. … The work has been halted and we have requested the hostel president to call a general body meeting as early as possible and reject this surveillance proposal. Many other hostels have rejected installation of CCTV cameras,” he said.
The university, however, said that they were only following court orders and CCTV cameras were being installed only at entrances and not inside the hostels.
“After the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmad from the campus, the High Court had asked us why we don’t have CCTV cameras. After that, in a recent hearing, the High Court once again told us to install CCTV cameras. Hence, we’re installing them in public spaces. These cameras will only be placed at the entry of hostels, not inside. Besides, we’re also installing them at all university gates, and school areas. Cameras have already been installed in three to four hostels, but in two hostels, students are refusing to allow it,” said JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar.
The JNUSU secretary Satarupa Chakraborty alleged that no meeting of hostel associations had been called in the past year.
Meanwhile, A Delhi court Monday said it will decide on March 30 whether Delhi Police can ask nine JNU students to give their consent for lie detector test in a case regarding the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed.
The police had issued notices to nine students and had asked them to appear before it for a lie-detector test. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass, who was scheduled to pass the order on Monday, deferred the matter saying that the order was not ready.
The court had on March 15 reserved its order after the counsel appearing for the students submitted that the “lie detector test is unconstitutional and illegal unless it is voluntary”.
The nine students, who are suspects in the case, have approached the court challenging the notice sent to them by the Crime Branch seeking their presence before the magistrate for recording of their statement that whether they were willing to undergo the lie detector test.