Updated: November 15, 2019 10:44:07 am
The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration is considering action against around 10 students for allegedly vandalising and defacing university property. Besides painting on the walls of the administrative block, the students allegedly defaced a platform on which a yet to be unveiled statue of Swami Vivekananda stands.
“We have identified some students through reports and evidence received from the security office. We are discussing how we should proceed. There could be more students involved, which we will ascertain after receiving all information,” a university official said, adding that showcause notices are yet to be issued.
In a tweet, JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said, “Vandalising Swami Vivekananda statue at JNU admin block, which is yet to be unveiled, is the most despicable act one can commit. Swami Vivekananda is India’s youth icon. Disrespecting him in our University by some miscreants is not at all acceptable.”
On Wednesday, some students protesting over the fee hike had entered the administrative block and allegedly painted messages on the V-C’s office door. Similar messages were also painted at the rector’s and registrar’s office.
“They have removed my nameplate and vandalised my whole office. They cannot do this, it’s illegal,” Registrar Pramod Kumar told The Indian Express.
On Thursday, photos circulating on social media showed anti-BJP messages written on the platform beneath the Vivekananda statue. It was later washed by some students.
The ABVP accused the Left-led JNU Students’ Union of the vandalism. “We condemn this. This is taking the movement for the fee hike in the wrong direction,” they said.
But the JNUSU claimed it was a “conspiracy by Right-wing forces to defame the university and its democratic culture” and to “divert” attention from the fee hike issue.
“The JNU student community does not endorse any act of vandalism done in its name; whoever does it is doing it in his or her own name and should not use the name of the movement to justify such acts,” the union said.
The JNU Teachers’ Association also expressed “strong disapproval of the defacing of the area around the Vivekananda statue”.
“One way or the other, those responsible for this are clearly not friends of the struggle against an authoritarian administration and its unjust actions, and do not represent the democratic ethos of which JNU has justifiably been proud,” JNUTA said.
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