New Delhi: The ongoing conflict between the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and the university administration took a new turn Tuesday.
Awaiting an official recognition from the university since the student elections held in September, JNUSU has now received an eviction notice for its office on the premises, instead.
According to students of the university, this is the first time in the history of the university that a students’ union has seen such an action against it.
The conflict began after the union elections, the results of which were declared only after an intervention of the Delhi High Court. The university administration, however, refrained from officially notifying the union.
What the eviction notice says
The eviction notice sent from the office of Dean of Students Umesh Ashok Kadam said JNUSU had not been notified by the university in 2018-19 and 2019-20, and so the administration wanted it to evict office to prevent “misuse of property”.
“To prevent misuse of property, it is decided by the Competent Authority of the University that the said room shall be locked immediately and the same may be handed over to the JNUSU after notification of the same,” the letter sent to the union on Tuesday read.
The notice further said last year’s union was not notified because of non-compliance of Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and the matter is still sub-judice.
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The notice does not detail the violation of the recommendations allegedly committed by the union.
JNUSU general secretary Satish Chandra Yadav said the university did not tell them anything about the violations.
The current union has been asked to evict office by Wednesday.
Decision undemocratic, aims to muzzle students’ voice, says union
Calling the decision an onslaught on “students’ movement”, members of the union have organised a demonstration Wednesday and plan to publicly burn the eviction notice in protest against the action taken by the university.
JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh called the move “undemocratic” and one aimed to “muzzle students’ voice”.
Speaking to ThePrint, Ghosh said, the Delhi High Court had declared the results valid, but university administration was “not ready to listen to the High Court and wants to muzzle the voice of the elected panel because it speaks for student-related issues”.
She added: “They want us to stop from speaking on the issues like HEFA and the gradual privatisation towards which the university is moving.”
In a statement, JNUSU said the notice from the administration is a bundle of lies. “It says that the previous union and the current union are ‘not notified’ and refuses to recognize them, but the Delhi High Court has already given its sanction to the union,” it said.
Students also alleged that the democratically elected JNUSU was not even invited to the recent Academic Council meeting.
N. Sai Balaji, JNUSU president for the previous year, told ThePrint, “Had the union been illegal, the Delhi High Court would have already declared it null and void. The fact that the court allowed JNU to declare this year’s result and gave a legal sanction to it defeats the university’s argument. They cannot refuse to notify the union saying we have not followed Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.”
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