The reduction in the number of security guards in Jawaharlal Nehru University due to a change in contract has resulted in the administration restricting timings of the common rooms and reading room of the School of International Studies (SIS).
Like in the case of Parthasarathy Rocks, where access has been restricted as well, the reason being given for limiting timings is “security”. The administration had earlier cited ‘legal reasons’ to lock the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) office.
In a notice dated October 21, SIS Dean Aswini K Mohapatra said that the reading room would be open from 9 am to 9 pm and common rooms from 9 am to 5.30 pm.
“The main gate of the School of International Studies-I will be closed at 6 pm. The gate connecting SIS-I and SIS-II will remain closed during day time and will be opened between 6 pm and 9 pm. The security guard posted at the entrance after the closure of the gate at 6 pm will be seated near reading room, ground floor to check identity cards of students and make necessary entries in the register… Caretaker of the building will ensure common room (basement) is locked at 5.30 pm,” he wrote.
Mohapatra said the move had been taken for security reason since there was a shortage of guards. “This is being done for security of university property. I recently got a complaint, which is why we have restricted entry. A girl and boy, both outsiders, had entered the building and the boy was inebriated. He misbehaved with the guards,” he said.
“We have a shortage of security guards. Instead of two-three guards per school, we only have one. It’s not possible to monitor all,” said Mohapatra.
JNUSU councillors from SIS Vishnu Prasad and Himadree Sonowal said: “No one has the right to decide when and where a student should read on campus.”