The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry conveyed its “displeasure” Monday to the officers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) over the insensitivity displayed by the administration towards the students injured in Sunday’s violence.
The Ministry also advised the university not to “precipitate” the matter by pursuing police cases and disciplinary action against the students. “The idea is not to close the university, but ensure that things return to normal,” a Ministry official said.
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This was conveyed to JNU in a meeting held between a team of university representatives and senior Ministry officials Monday, The Indian Express has learned. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Chintamani Mahapatra, Registrar Pramod Kumar, Rector Rana Pratap Singh and Proctor Dhananjay Singh were among those who attended the meeting with Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare.
Until Monday morning, no one from the university administration had either met the injured students at AIIMS or enquired about their condition with the medical superintendent. HRD officials, it is learned, told the JNU representatives that the administration should have displayed more sensitivity and inquired about their students.
“The Jamia Millia Islamia V-C, on the other hand, seems to have handled the matter better,” said the Ministry official. Jamia Millia Islamia V-C, Najma Akhtar, had met the students injured in the police crackdown of December 15 and also assured them that the university would bear their medical expenses.
When contacted, Khare did not wish to comment on details of the meeting, but said, “JNU is a premier institution. We will ensure that it remains so.”
However, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, who was in Bhubaneswar Monday, was quoted by ANI as saying, “University are meant for education and should never be made political base. Action will be taken against those who will be found guilty. Will never let universities become adda for politics.”
Sources said the Ministry of Home Affairs has also taken serious cognizance of the violence perpetrated on JNU students on Sunday inside the university campus.
Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Commissioner of Police, Delhi over the phone on Sunday evening to take stock of the situation. On Monday morning, he spoke to Delhi L-G Anil Baijal, asking him to start engagements with the university representatives.
“He spoke to L-G Baijal and asked him to talk to representatives from JNU. These would include both representatives from the administrative and student union,” a Home Ministry official said.
Sources said the Registrar and Pro-VC of JNU met the L-G on Monday morning and apprised him of the situation. They said the JNU case had been transferred to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police. The police have been asked to talk to students and collect evidence from the site to identify the culprits. Sources said medico-legal cases of the injured students have been completed by the AIIMS Trauma Centre and Safdarjung Hospital.
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