Congress leader P Chidambaram is the latest to join the bandwagon demanding the resignation of Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar. On Wednesday morning, he asked Kumar to “follow his own advice” and quit the post over the January 5 mob attack.
“The VC of JNU wants students to ‘put the past behind’,” Chidambaram tweeted. “He should follow his advice. He is the past. He should leave JNU.”
A masked mob, allegedly comprising Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad members armed with sticks and hammers, attacked students at the JNU campus on Sunday evening. At least 34 people, including teachers, were injured in the violence. Later on the same night, a group of right-wing activists sloganeering outside the university’s main gate heckled, abused and threatened several journalists reporting on the violence.
Vice Chancellor Kumar on Tuesday described the violence as “unfortunate” and said that he hoped the injured students recovered quickly. Kumar urged students to return to the campus and said that it was a “secure place”. His remarks came a day after the JNU Students’ Union accused him of being behind the mob attack.
Earlier on Tuesday, scholars, writers and members of the civil society from India and across the world called for the resignations of Registrar Pramod Kumar and Vice Chancellor Kumar, adding that they should assume moral responsibility for “their failure to guarantee the safety of their students and faculty”.
They expressed solidarity with the students and faculty of JNU. The statement, signed by 8,747 persons, condemned the attack by masked assailants in the university’s premises. The signatories included filmmaker and writer Ali Kazimi, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, writer and actor Jayant Kripalani, author Mira Kamdar, journalist Seema Chishti, among others.