Dear VC, What About Action Against the Mob That Attacked Najeeb?
Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar
The Vice Chancellor,
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Through this communication we wish to express our strong reservations on the report issued by the Dean of Students (Summary and update of the events in Mahi-Mandvi Hostel on 14th October) and circulatrday, 12 days after Najeeb went missing. The report completely blanks out the mob violence targeting Najeeb that occurred on 14th October, even though several witnesses to that violence have gone on record about this and some part of it took place in the presence of wardens and security staff. With willful omission, the Dean’s report seems to misleadingly suggest that nothing like that had even happened. This shocking omission can convey a message that the University is willing to protect violence perpetrated by certain groups and certain sections.
The absence of any reference to the mob violence from the Dean’s report appears to be part of a clear pattern witnessed since 14 October. In a series of communications, the University Administration has blamed all and sundry for the situation prevailing in the campus but has steadfastly failed to acknowledge the violence against Najeeb. The University’s Press Release issued after 48 hours of Najeeb’s disappearance singled him out as the ‘accused’, betraying also in the process its utter lack of sensitivity. The University Administration has also said more than once that a Proctorial Enquiry has been initiated. Yet it has never quite clarified precisely what the enquiry is about and whether its proceedings are to lead to punishments for those guilty of the mob violence on 14th October. Instead, making a complete mockery of rules the University Administration announced that the Proctorial enquiry report would be submitted to the Provosts Committee for its recommendation – which could only serve the purpose of delaying any action and raising questions about the laid down procedures.
The truth of the matter is that since Najeeb has not been traced for such a long period, a matter of grave concern by itself, his inability to participate in any enquiry no longer provides even a flimsy excuse for not initiating disciplinary action against those who attacked him. This is more so because the depositions by other witnesses and other evidence were recorded many days ago and there seems to be no reasonable ground for delaying the report of the Proctorial enquiry and acting on it.
If the Dean’s report is not to be seen as part of a cover-up deliberately directed towards derailing the process of punishing those guilty of violence, then it must be immediately corrected. Further, without any more delay disciplinary action must be initiated against those who indulged in mob violence. Unless these are done, the trust required to bring normalcy in the Campus would be lost and the Administration will be squarely responsible for the continued volatility in the Campus.
We therefore request you once again to ensure that,
1. The sequence of mob violence is established and due process of impartial enquiry is followed in punishing those guilty of mob violence without favoring anyone
2. The Proctorial Report on the violence of 14th October 2016, is immediately brought out as more than two weeks have passed
3. The established rule and procedure in dealing with the matter of discipline is maintained in the university
4. Credibility of institutional process is restored as since the 12th Feb night when teachers were abused in Paschimabad residential complex, the university community is having doubts about the impartial functioning of JNU Administration.