The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) Monday claimed the JNU administration had asked photocopy shop owners to not print any pamphlet of any student organisation. JNU Registrar Bhupinder Zutshi however, said the administration had no role to play in the matter.
“On Sunday, somebody from the administration called us and asked told us not to print parcha pamphlets of any organisation. These are difficult times, and we don’t want to get into trouble so we are avoiding printing political material,” said a photocopy shop owner in JNU.
Another owner also said he had been paid a visit by some men Sunday, but he could not confirm whether it was the administration or police.
“A group of men came to my shop and inquired about the posters that I was printing. They spoke in an intimidating manner and told me not to print such stuff. But I don’t whether it was the police, administration or anyone else,” he said.
However, one owner said he stopped printing pamphlets and posters because of the general fear.
“No one has asked us to not print but I decided not to do it myself. We know shop owners have been picked up and questioned by police and I don’t want to get involved in this controversy,” he said.
Some photocopy shop owners in Ber Sarai have allegedly been picked up for questioning by the police.
The JNUSU, however, blamed the administration. “It has come to our notice that the administration has instructed all photocopy shops on campus not to print any posters or pamphlets of any student organisation. JNUSU strongly condemns this draconian, undemocratic decision,” read an official statement.
“This blanket order banning the print of pamphlets and posters in JNU smacks of a brutal clampdown on culture of free speech, debate and discussion on our campus. We see this as the latest episode in the continuing assault on JNU’s plural, democratic spaces,” it added.
However, Zutshi told PTI, “The university has not sent any verbal or written communication to the photocopy shop owners on campus. They run independently and if at all they have denied to not print, they would have taken independent decisions. The administration has no role to play in it”.