New Delhi, November 3, 2018: Members of Women of JNU, a forum for the female students of Jawaharlal Nehru University to speak up about their issues have alleged that the wardens have been conducting a series of ‘raids’ in the university’s women’s hostels since the last week of September without any reason. They also said that a few students have been targeted and are harassed specifically on the basis of their religion and political inclinations.
Students allege that the new circulars have almost put them under ‘curfew’ inside the campus. “Women Students of JNU fought and defeated the recent spate of extremely regressive circulars by the administration for which they are now being punished. Every day residents of different hostels are being called for proctorial inquiries for stopping hostel raids,” the page’s admin wrote yesterday according to reports published in m.dailyhunt.in
The proctorial inspections were a result of the student outrage against incidents of alleged abuse of power by the administration. Security guards barged into a women’s hostel in the middle of the night to check the rooms, while in another instance, students were locked inside the hostel and weren’t allowed to go out. In a third incident, the warden allegedly snatched a student’s biriyani while she was eating.
A spokesperson for the forum told us today that notice for the proctorial inquiry was sent to specific students. “They had specifically targetted a few students who were part of political parties and were familiar. A friend of mine who led the protest against Atul Johri was also called when she wasn’t a part of the protest in the hostel. A few others are freshers whom they know wouldn’t speak up against the atrocities,” she says, adding, “The leaders who had gone from room to room calling the students for protesting or the ones who conducted signature campaigns aren’t being summoned. That’s either because they don’t know our names or they’re scared that we will resist and they will have to face the repercussions of it.” Also, while the students had the leeway to bring witnesses, to the meeting, none of them were permitted inside.
She also said that these raids are unnecessary and are hypocritical since the hostel wardens and guards didn’t respond when students had actual security threats on the days following the 2018 JNUSU elections or when a student Najeeb Ahmed was allegedly threatened inside his hostel and had later disappeared a daylater.
Apeksha Priyadarshini, a student who was called for the inquiry said that she has been unnecessarily targetted just because she has a background in activism. Despite facing an inquiry on November 1, she has to face another on November 16, when she’ll get to know the proctor’s decision. “This could be a fine or some other kind of punishment and it mostly comes by the end of the semester. There is no accountability to the fine that we pay,” she says.
Women of JNU was a forum that was started by the female students after Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) was replaced by an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).