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My door is open: JNU V-C on why he hasn’t met injured

While he said his “heart goes out” to all the injured, on the issue of providing medical assistance, Kumar said the university health centre had free medicines.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
January 8, 2020 2:40:19 am
JNU, JNU violence, JNU violence ABVP, ABVP JNU, JNU VC, JNU violence VC, JNU students beaten, Delhi Police JNU, Delhi news, Delhi city news, Delhi JNU news Asked if he did not feel the need to personally visit the injured, Kumar said, “We always want to meet anybody. Our office is always open.”

In his first public interaction with the media since Sunday’s violence, JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said that while he had not met any injured student or teacher, his “office was always open” to them.

Kumar also accepted that he was on campus when the violence took place: “I’m always on the campus, 24×7.” He continued to link the violence to anti-fee hike protests led by the JNU Students’ Union. He said an internal enquiry into the matter had been set up.

While he said his “heart goes out” to all the injured, on the issue of providing medical assistance, he said the university health centre had free medicines.

Asked why senior officials had not met students or teachers, Kumar said, “All hostels come under IHA administration and IHA administration comprises wardens, provosts, associate deans, Dean and then we have a Rector who’s overall in-charge. Many of our officers did contact the hostels and enquired about what happened, and they provided all possible help in terms of calling the police and saving the security there.”

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“In case of teachers or staff members, appropriate help is always provided. Whenever they seek any help, we do provide it,” he added.

Asked if he did not feel the need to personally visit the injured, Kumar said, “We always want to meet anybody. Our office is always open.”

“Immediately students were admitted to AIIMS; they were provided first aid… Any medical help, including free medicines or doctor’s attention, will be provided in our medical centre,” he said.

Asked why he was linking fee hike protests with the violence, he said, “On January 3rd afternoon, a group of students with masks came to our CIS premises and they violently asked technical staff to come out of the data center, and they sat in front of it. That was the first time in the university we have seen protesting students coming with covered faces. If they think what they were doing was right, what was the need to cover faces?”

He said that when some students started registering, protesters came and damaged servers and fibre optic cables at CIS. “The intent becomes very clear… They have a clear intent of stopping the academic functions of the university,” said Kumar.

On entry of outsiders with weapons, Kumar said there were “different versions” . “Let the investigation be completed and facts come to the front on what happened,” he said.

He also made a plea to students not to leave hostels. “We would like to assure our students that we are making every effort to provide safety and security to them. We don’t want students to leave hostels. JNU is a very secure campus. Even in the middle of the night one can walk here. We don’t want to spoil such an atmosphere.”

Kumar was critical of visits by political leaders to the campus. “We would like to appeal to everyone to not politicise the incident… We don’t want our University issues to be politicised.”

A report submitted by JNU to the HRD Ministry Monday has described the Sunday violence as “scuffles” between students “who wanted to stop the registration and those who wanted to register and continue their studies”.

The report talks about the entry of “masked miscreants” into Periyar hostel. However, nothing is mentioned about the violence witnessed in Sabarmati hostel.

“During the last couple of weeks these agitating students also vandalised the administration block and ransacked the office of the V-C, for which a police complaint was filed,” the report states.

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