The JNU administration on Friday issued show-cause notices to students allegedly involved in putting up posters across the campus to highlight the “lack” of hostel facility in the university. In response to the notice, agitated students staged a demonstration outside the Vice Chancellor’s office alleging the “spate of show-cause notices” by the administration in past few days is “disturbing”.
“According to the report received from Chief Security Officer posters were pasted on the issue of non-availability of hostels. You are directed to appear before the Proctor and explain your position in this regard,” the show-cause notice read.
This is the third incident in the past 15 days on which show-cause notices have been issued by the varsity. The other two being burning of effigies of Gujarat government earlier, and more recently that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Dussehra.
While the administration maintained it is a “cautious” step to maintain discipline on the campus, especially after the controversial February 9 event, the students alleged it’s an attack on the “free” culture in JNU.
“We are extremely concerned at the spate of show-cause notices being served by the administration to student activists for holding peaceful democratic protests against atrocities by cow vigilantes or celebration of labour day,” a statement by the JNU Students Union said.
Their statement claimed student activists are being “systematically targeted” for their opposition to ideologies and politics patronised by the government, which is “deeply deplorable”, especially on a campus like JNU’s where “debate and dissent have always been cherished”.
“We are not going to accept this regime of permissions and surveillance on protests and public meetings that has never had any place in JNU,” it added.
The university had on Thursday ordered a proctorial enquiry into effigy-burning of Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on the occasion of Dussehra.
Similar action was taken last week on effigy-burning of the Gujarat government and gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes).
The varsity has been at the centre of controversy since February when anti-national slogans were allegedly raised during an event on campus leading to arrest of three students under sedition charges.