The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) on Monday (January 6) called vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar a “coward” and accused him of perpetrating violence inside the campus. Demanding his resignation, it said Sunday’s mayhem was a “result of Kumar’s desperation and frustration”.
In a strongly-worded statement a day after masked goons attacked students and faculty members on the campus with iron rods and sledgehammers, the JNUSU said, “The Vice Chancellor of the university, M Jagadesh Kumar, is behaving like a mobster who perpetuates violence in the university he is supposed to administer.”
“He uses all means and manner to see to it that students, teachers, Karmacharis and the entire JNU community faces violence by criminals imported from outside using iron rods, stones and lathis… This Vice-Chancellor is a cowardly Vice Chancellor who introduces illegal policies through the backdoor, runs away from the questions of students or teachers and then manufactures a situation to demonize JNU,” it added.
The JNUSU further slammed him saying he is increasing the number his “henchmen” by “illegal appointments of ABVP activists on a wholesale basis and who call themselves the JNUTF, the ABVP themselves and the Cyclopse security who have been especially hired to turn the campus into a war zone.”
It further asserted that the JNU community is adamant that a fee hike cannot happen in the university and that the dream of affordable public education will live on. Holding Kumar responsible for Sunday’s mayhem, the JNUSU said the violence is “the result of the desperation and frustration of the VC and his cronies”.
It further alleged the VC has been “intently engaged in the favourite project of the Sangh Pariwar, which is to destroy JNU.” The JNUSU also accused him of maligning the university’s name in 2016, which it said was planned by the RSS.
“He took no action on the ABVP goons who assaulted Najeeb which proceeded his disappearance. He tried to destroy the future of generations of students through the Seat Cut and murdered social justice. He dismantled GSCASH and protected harassers like Atul Johri.
“He shut down dhabas and tried to curb the culture if dissent and debate through imposition of the night curfew. He raised fees for courses like MBA and Engineering and made the entrance online depriving it of its academic rigor. He is making political appointments to please his masters without regard for their qualification or suitability.
“He is trying to impose a fee hike which will not leave JNU as we know it. He is using henchmen to perpetrate violence on students and vandalise the university. At Every step he has tried to destroy the culture and academics of the university. Mr. Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, it is time to go!” it said.
It said the JNU community has a single point demand the VC resigns or the MHRD removes him. “Those who are trying to malign and destroy this university will not succeed. JNU will live on,” it said.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, a former JNUSU president, too stood by the demand of the VC’s removal. “The vice-chancellor is also complicit in this attack. He must be sacked immediately,” he said.
The Students Union also slammed the Delhi Police saying they gave a safe passage to “ABVP goons imported from outside.”
“The chronology of events is a shameful episode for the Delhi Police who gave a safe passage to ABVP goons imported from outside. For days now the administration has been unable to break our protest. Since 4th January, ABVP people were directed as henchmen of the VC to come and beat up students. They used lathis and pipes on that day.
“On 5th January, they imported goons from outside, especially DU which was led by the history sheeter Satinder Awana. The ABVP goons this time went one step further then what they did last year during the post-election violence in 2018,” the statement read. It accused the security personnel of helping male goons get access to women’s hostels at the behest of the VC.
The JNUSU further accused the Delhi Police of standing as mute spectators when goons were attacking students with sticks and iron rods. “The Delhi Police which perpetrated violence on Jamia changed their roles but not the intent. They also allowed safe passage to the goons,” the statement added.
It also slammed the ABVP, the students’ wing of the RSS, which it said thrashed female students and pelted stones on January 4, a day before Sunday’s incident. “Female students sustained grave injuries and fractures in the attack by ABVP. Such brazen and cowardly acts show how desperate and scared they are of students’ unity. We note the role of the police managed by Amit Shah which is now infamous for its role in such situations,” it said.
The JNUSU also thanked the civil society, citizens, political parties and other university students who stood in solidarity with JNU.