Faculty Feminist Collective, JNU, condemns police violence on students

December 11, 2019

We, members of Faculty Feminist Collective, Jawaharlal Nehru University, condemn in the strongest terms the unprovoked police brutality on the peaceful protest marches of JNU students against the illegal adoption of a revised Hostel Manual by the JNU administration and the proposed steep rise in fees. Three times since November 11, 2019, the day of the JNU Convocation, the police have lathi-charged assembled and marching students. The first time, students were expressing a legitimate demand to meet the Vice Chancellor who now conducts all business outside the campus and has not met any member of the JNU community for some time now. On the second occasion it was a march to Parliament, to meet the elected representatives of this country; and the third time, to meet the President of India who is also the Visitor of JNU, to press upon them the urgency of the situation in which nearly half of the current students of JNU will not be able to come back next semester if the IHA Manual and the fee hike is not rolled back.

On each occasion the dispersing of the entirely non-violent students was carried out with extreme brutality and extra legal force.
By extreme brutality we mean the vicious beating dealt out to unarmed and peaceful students, including to a visually challenged student; the dragging of women students by their hair, punching and slapping them; the kicking of students including women, in the stomach repeatedly. Several students have broken bones. One woman student injured in the latest lathi-charge is still under observation in the hospital, as she received severe injuries from being kicked in the stomach and doctors are concerned. Many women students also reported being molested by male police in the melee.

Students who were detained in several police stations were injured but they received no medical attention and could go to hospital only after being released after several hours.

By extra legal force we mean the numbers of people (men and women) in plain clothes who were wielding lathis on the students and physically attacking them; and the use of small blades or knives by the police to slash at students, leaving them with deep bleeding gashes on the arms and neck and other exposed parts of the body.

JNU is one of the few universities where women outnumber men in enrolment, a feat which is made possible because of the gender deprivation points awarded to each woman candidate. This achievement of the university has meaning however only if the university as an institution guarantees them a safe space in which women’s autonomy and freedom is guaranteed and their rights to an affordable education and security from violence and harassment and mental and physical well-being are maintained. The administration of Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar has negated each one of these guarantees. By hiking hostel fees and curbing students’ freedom of movement and political participation (in violation of the UGC Saksham Committee guidelines), it has imperiled the continuance of education for women students in particular. By dismantling GSCASH and installing a puppet ICC whose chief preoccupation is the punishment of complainants rather than perpetrators, the JNU administration has fostered a hostile work environment in which impunity from sexual harassment is rampant. Finally, by spreading falsehoods about the students of the university through its press notes and circulars, it has legitimised both police violence and the social media vilification of all JNU students, particularly women.

The FFC extends its solidarity to the students of JNU. It salutes them all for their courage and their inspiring commitment to the struggle for an affordable, socially-just and gender-just university education.

  1. Anupama Roy
  2. Ayesha Kidwai
  3. Bishnupriya Paul
  4. Brinda Bose
  5. Chirashree Dasgupta
  6. Chitra Harshvardhan
  7. G Arunima
  8. Ghazala Jamil
  9. Ira Bhaskar
  10. Janaki Nair
  11. Jayati Ghosh
  12. Joy Pachau
  13. Kumkum Roy
  14. Lata Singh
  15. Madhu Sahni
  16. Mallarika Sinha Roy
  17. Mercy Guite
  18. Moushumi Basu
  19. Navaneetha Mokkil
  20. Niraja Jayal
  21. Nivedita Menon
  22. Nupur Chowdhury
  23. Papori Bora
  24. Parnal Chirmuley
  25. Pratiksha Baxi
  26. Ramila Bisht
  27. Ranjani Mazumdar
  28. Shambhavi Prakash
  29. Shefali Jha
  30. Shukla Sawant
  31. Supriya Verma
  32. Urmimala Sarkar
  33. V Sujatha

 

 

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