Twenty-five students of JNU Friday alleged they were “wrongfully confined” in class and asked to sign attendance sheets by the Dean of the School of Social Sciences (SSS). JNU has made 75 per cent attendance compulsory for all students, starting this semester. Both the students’ union and the JNU Teachers’ Association had called for a “boycott” of the attendance process, claiming it was a “highly unproductive and meaningless” form of “bureaucratic work”.
Dean Pradipta K Chaudhury did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express. The alleged incident took place with students from the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP), after the Monetary and Banking Institutions lecture ended around 2.30 pm. Dean Chaudhury, they alleged, did not let them leave the room till they signed the sheet.
Stating that they wrote to CESP chairperson Sugata Dasgupta against the “illegal confinement”, a student claimed, “We said we were stopped from going out. We have asked him (the chairperson) to take up the matter in the next meeting.” Asked if he had received the letter by students, Dasgupta said, “I will neither confirm nor deny.” A student, who did not wish to be named, claimed, “Six students willingly signed the attendance sheet but the rest of us refused. Chaudhury went and stood near the door and said he wouldn’t let us out if we didn’t.”
Condemning the alleged incident, JNUSU president Geeta Kumari said, “This is extremely shocking… We would like to state that such forceful attempts by the faculty concerned and the JNU administration to curtail the freedom of students is highly unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”