Exposed In Letter, JNU Vice Chancellor's Doublespeak On Police Action
Stung by criticism that he allowed the police an unprecedented free run on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar held a press conference on Monday to put out a strong disclaimer.
But NDTV has accessed a letter that seems to prove the allegation. The letter, written by the University Registrar to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, South District, says the "VC grants to the police force permission to enter JNU campus if need be and as you may deem fit." Dated February 11, the letter has no other riders or stipulations.
The next day, on February 12, a massive contingent of police entered the JNU campus - far more than was necessary, say observers - to investigate the chanting of anti-India slogans at a gathering on February 9 to mark the anniversary of the execution of terrorist Afzal Guru, hanged in 2013.
Representatives of the JNU Teachers' Union claim they have eyewitness accounts of police entering hostels without a warrant to look for students who allegedly participated in the controversial event.
Eventually, the police arrested Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the JNU Student's Union, and charged him with sedition.
The Committee of Deans, one of the highest decision-making bodies of the university, wrote to the Vice Chancellor that it did not endorse this kind of police presence. In a letter accessed by NDTV, CP Chandrasekhar, a member, said this threatened the autonomy of the university. The move, Mr Chandrasekhar wrote, also "amounts to a major change in the policy adopted by successive Vice-Chancellors ever since JNU was established, and against the policy most universities adopt".