After issuing a circular to lock the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) office, the administration’s decision to block entry to the Parthasarthy Rocks, better known as PSR, has left JNUSU seething.
The union held an overnight vigil outside the locked gates of PSR Saturday night as a mark of protest. The ‘cultural protest’ saw music and dance performances.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), too, had organised a ‘dera dalo’ protest at the spot, which is a ridge area commonly frequented by students.
The JNUSU is currently on an indefinite sit-in at the union office as a mark of protest, in a bid to prevent the administration from locking it down.
“In recent days, the JNU administration, led by the Dean of Students, has been putting no stops in its attempts to make the campus a restricted and securitised zone with attacks on the democratic spaces cherished by students… The area has always been accessible to all students at all times. No untoward incident or any occurrence has happened which could even remotely explain the rationale behind such a move. Moreover, unlike its other draconian moves, the admin has not even cared to bring a circular to inform, let alone explain away such a step,” said JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh.
“Recently, JNU’s security contract was changed and given to a different company. Since then, the number of security guards on campus has reduced. PSR is one of the places which was left unguarded and now has been put off limits for students. This move is beyond rhyme and reason, and is unacceptable to the student community…,” she said.
While JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar did not respond to calls and texts, official sources said the area had been closed down to prevent any “untoward incident” as there were complaints of students visiting the area late at night in groups.
However, they said students could still visit the area after seeking permission.
JNUSU general secretary Satish Chandra Yadav said, “In 2009, the-then JNU administration sold out PSR to a film-making company and made it inaccessible to the JNU community. Collective students’ struggle ensured the private company left and PSR remained open for the JNU community. Exactly after 10 years, the current JNU administration has locked out PSR. Now we must ensure the same.”