The Jawaharlal Nehru University’s management on Tuesday asked students protesting inside the campus’ administrative block to end their “siege” at the building. In a statement, the university said it had made “plenty of appeals and requests” to the students to end the protests and “come forward for peaceful discussion and dialogue”, Hindustan Times reported.
The university’s management also accused the protesting students of spreading misinformation about the number of seats in its MPhil and PhD programmes. “Do they worry at all when the university has lost huge sums of money, that are actually the country’s taxpayers’ money?” the statement asked. “The agitators do not care at all when thousand plus contractual labourers suffer because of their agitation, and yet shed crocodile tears by invoking ‘social justice’ arguments.”
The statement also reprimanded the JNU Teacher’s Association for taking the issue out of its campus instead of approaching the institution’s management to discuss the matter, NDTV reported. “The JNUTA has not even once given a call for ending the siege of the administration building,” the statement said. It also accused the students of confining senior officials for almost a day as well as disrupting meetings and “putting locks in various school buildings to prevent classes”.
The students have been “occupying” JNU’s administrative block since February 9 after the university adopted a 2016 University Grants Commission notification that recommended an upper limit on the number of MPhil and PhD students a faculty member can guide. While the students alleged that the move would lead to massive seat cuts in the programmes, the university said there would be no such reduction.