As the siege of JNU administrative building by a section of students over a missing hostel inmate entered the second day, vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, who along with other officials is confined on the premises, on Thursday warned of action against the protesters.
Students, who are agitating over the alleged inaction of University in the case of missing student Najeeb Ahmed, have not allowed the VC and about 12 other officials to come out of the building since Wednesday afternoon though students and media persons have been able to access it.
“If all our efforts fail, if we continue to be confined like this and if we are prevented from doing our duty, we will have no other option but take suitable action. There is an important academic council meeting at 2.30 PM, and we have to leave this venue and go to another venue at around 2.15 PM,” the VC told reporters this morning.
Rejecting allegations of inaction, he said they had written to the police about the missing student and an inquiry by the university will be expedited and the “guilty” will be punished.
Coming down heavily on protesting students, the VC said that several rounds of talks were held with them to convince them regarding the sincerity of the university to locate Najeeb but they were continuing with their “illegal” activity of holding hostage the authorities.
“This is a university run in a democratic manner. We value debate and discussion. That’s why we had several rounds of discussions with the students to convince them that the university is sincerely working to locate Najeeb Ahmed.
“We have tried by every possible means to convince the students that we are trying our best to locate Najeeb.
However, they are not relenting and resorting to this kind of illegal means,” he said.
He asserted, however, that the university administration will not be “coerced” by “illegal means”.
“We cannot be coerced by these illegal means. The university has to be run in a proper manner and the academic activities should not suffer. We again appeal to the students not to resort to this kind of illegal activities which will affect the university.”
He said that no food or water was allowed in the administrative building as claimed by the agitating students during their overnight siege.
“We have no food. Students are spreading lie that they have sent food and water inside which is absolutely false,” he said.
Two of the officials, including a diabetic, were, however, allowed by the student to leave the building.
He said that university appealed to Najeeb through media and its website to come back as was demanded by the students and has also written several letters to police since he went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before.
An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.
“We are making our best efforts to search for Najeeb Ahmed but student are relentless and blaming that we are not doing enough which is a complete lie,” the VC said.
He said that following a complaint by Najeeb’s mother, the FIR was registered by the police.
“As any mother she was agitated and contacted the police.
We also contacted the police and wrote a letter to them but they said that FIR is already filed based on the complaint of the mother and our letter is also used as a follow up complaint and after that we have written several letters to the police.
“So, it is not true at all that we have not complained to the police,” he said.
Police has maintained that they will not act on their own and will intervene only after getting a proper permission from the JNU administration.
The guilty students involved in the incident which led to Najeeb’s disappearance will be punished after the inquiry by the university is complete, he said.
“As far as punishing the culprits who are involved in the incident, university has its own procedure of inquiry. The witnesses have to be called and depositions have to be taken and after analysing the whole thing you give out the punishment.
“The inquiry is on, it will be expedited and guilty will be punished,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)