The Delhi Police have registered an FIR against a group of JNU students who broke open and vandalized the B. R. Ambedkar Library of the university. The students have also been accused of manhandling the security guards and the staff present at the premises. They are occupying the library for two days after opening it forcefully, which has been kept closed due to Covid-19 pandemic.
As per the police, a group of 35-40 students gathered outside the library demanding ‘immediate reopening’ which has been kept shut due to the ongoing pandemic. They protested in front of the library and heckled the guard to open the gates. Upon refusal, they got into a scuffle and tried to break open the library damaging the glass panes. This incident reportedly took place at 10:40 am on Tuesday morning.
JNU library allegedly vandalised by students.— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 10, 2021
Details by Priyank. pic.twitter.com/IEsFEcWJCE
According to the FIR, the guards had to call the Quick Response Team to disperse the protesting students who were trying to break into the library.
“Students manhandled security personnel and started hitting the library gate with sticks. The glass section of the gate was damaged… The security personnel resisted the attack and didn’t allow the students to enter from the three entrance gates. They (students) then found a small gate, broke the glass pane, and entered the library. The security personnel removed the students from the library,” read the FIR.
A case under sections of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, DDMA Act, Epidemic Diseased Act, and IPC has been registered against unknown persons at Vasant Kunj police station.
University to take disciplinary action
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Chief Proctor Office issued a circular detailing the protest, saying that disciplinary action will be taken against the students. As per the circular, a group of students had been occupying the main reading room of the building since June 08 forcing the administration to open the library.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Chief Proctor Office to take disciplinary action against students who scuffled with security staff, entered BR Ambedkar Library by breaking glass door on June 8. Space has been occupied since then; security office lodged police complaint in the matter pic.twitter.com/97TYMxfBnt— ANI (@ANI) June 10, 2021
Despite several requests made by the staff, the students continued to occupy the library risking refusing to leave even at night. The circular specified that these students had been violating the Covid-19 norms, refused to wear masks and frequented the hostels for meals, putting the other students and staff at risk.
The students also didn’t allow the staff to sanitize the space thereby putting the administration at a greater risk.
NSUI says ‘Sanghis administration’ is afraid of books
NSUI, the student’s wing of the Congress party, is supporting the students in demanding reopening the library. Despite the university making it clear that no new guidelines have been issued by the Delhi government to resume regular academic activities, the NSUI alleged that the ‘Sanghi administration’ is purposely keeping the libraries shut.
Shutting down libraries and reading halls is one of the best past time of this sanghi administration. These proto-fascist are so afraid of books that they found it okay to open community marriage hall while shutting down reading spaces in the campus.(1)#JNU pic.twitter.com/9LLOGRxgPw— NSUI JNU (@jnu_nsui_) June 8, 2021
The student’s wing of the Congress party encouraged violence by trending the hashtag #LadengeAurJeetenge giving rise to mobocracy mentality even amidst a pandemic.
Today students from various centre broke the locks of library and made it open for the student community of the campus. JNU-NSUI stand in full solidarity with students and demand immediate reopening of all reading spaces.(2)#LadengeAurJeetenge— NSUI JNU (@jnu_nsui_) June 8, 2021
More than 70 students and staff had tested Covid-19 positive
A health official on the condition of anonymity revealed that most students and staff who have been shifted to the quarantine centres are in an extremely critical state with SPO2 level dropping below 40%. He also informed that except one or two most had to be put on oxygen support, however, their condition continues to remain worrisome.