A spate of robberies at faculty residences inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus since last September has got teachers worried. The most recent theft took place on New Year.
The JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) hit out at the administration for its “repeated failures” and asked that they take “full responsibility” for the issue.
When contacted, JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar, however, said, “Our campus is big and there are many houses. We have asked that those who are leaving their homes unattended should inform security so we can increase vigilance. But in these burgled houses, we weren’t informed. They should also cooperate with us. For those who have servants’ quarters, we’ve also asked them to get police verification done. But they don’t cooperate in this too.”
Most burglaries, including the one at Professor Shefali Jha’s residence on January 1, have happened in the Uttarakhand block of the campus.
Jha told The Indian Express she was out with her family to celebrate New Year and returned on Friday to find their home burgled.
“We had gone out on New Year’s Eve, and when we came back the next evening, we found the house burgled. It is very disturbing. We have filed an FIR,” she said, while refusing to share more details.
JNUTA claimed that a private security agency was brought in by the JNU administration late 2019 “with half the number of personnel employed and at a rate that was far above than what JNU was previously paying for security services”.
“The fact that (the security firm) has not reported on action taken on previous burglaries nor strengthened vigilance on ground, leading to fresh cases of lawlessness, confirms the utter failure of the agency to disburse its responsibility in providing 24/7 security to residents on campus. This lawlessness is also indicative of the lack of coordination between different arms of the university administration,” claimed the teachers’ body, adding that many roads inside campus were “poorly lit”.
It has demanded that “the administration bring out an action taken report on all the incidents of theft on campus in the last two years”.
The JNUTA has also asked that the contract of the security agency be terminated, compensation be given to all affected faculty members, and a “new security plan” be devised in consultation with all stakeholders.
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