The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration will file an FIR against those who were allegedly behind vandalising the Swami Vivekananda statue and for defacing the administration block of the university, Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said on Thursday. The students who were protesting also have said to occupy the block that houses offices of the top brass of the university's administration, including Vice-Chancellor.
Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar told that the university has identified the students who vandalised the administration block and is preparing to file an FIR against them. "Yes, they are JNU students and we have identified them," Mamidala said. "Vandalism on the university campus is unfortunate; it is never expected from any student. But in this case, we have identified the students and are also in the process of filing an FIR naming them," he added.
Swami Vivekananda statue vandalised by students?
The Vice-Chancellor confirmed that female security guards deployed outside the administration block were beaten up on Wednesday. "There were two instances of vandalism in the university, one in the administration block where female security officers were beaten up by the students, and another where a yet-to-be-inaugurated statue of Swami Vivekananda was vandalised," he said.
The Vice Chancellor clarified that the FIR being filed relates only to the vandalism of the administrative block and not to the vandalism of the Vivekananda statue as the miscreants in this case are yet to be identified. "We are yet to ascertain if the vandalism of the Swami Vivekananda statue was done by any of the JNU students, but as soon as we identify the accused, we will file another FIR," he said.
'No to privatisation' slogans painted
Earlier some agitating students of the varsity occupied the administration block, defaced almost every wall of the block with graffiti against the JNU administrations and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Graffities were found on Wednesday night all over the walls of the administration block. The slogans were written in Hindi, Bengali, English and Urdu and targeted the Vice-Chancellor as many slogans termed him as an "agent of the RSS" and asked him to "go back to Sangh".
Some of the slogans written over the walls were: 'No to privatisation', 'You are not our VC', 'Go back to your Sangh', '#SaveJNU' and 'Hamari Deeware Wapas Karo (Return our walls)". The miscreants left no place in the block untouched, as the stairs leading to the offices were painted with the slogans, the exterior of the building was also defaced by graffiti and posters were also left hanging from the ceiling of the building.
In one such graffiti, the protestors drew a man tied to strings like a puppet. The protesters claimed the graffiti represented the JNU Vice-Chancellor who, they allege, worked on Sangh's instructions. On Wednesday, a protest by students had forced the JNU administration to shift the venue of a crucial meeting of its Executive Council convened to discuss the new draft hostel manual and other important issues.
Students occupy 'Pink Palace'
The students in response called for "occupying" the administration block of varsity, popularly known as the 'Pink Palace'. "At a time when the admin wants to push us out of our hostels, we have taken up residence inside the Pink Palace," former president of JNUSU N. Sai Balaji appealed to the students. "The JNUSU appeals to all students to come to the Pink Palace to reclaim it from the admin which has illegally been made a den of oppression," he added.
The agitating students have been demanding a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor on the issue of draft hostel manual which was finalised on October 28. It is the hostel draft manual that is at the centre of controversy as it proposes a hike in hostel fees and other changes in the university which the administration claims were due for over 14 years.
On Monday, scores of JNU students clashed with the police over the steep fee hike, leaving Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' confined for over five hours at the venue of the university's convocation.