New Delhi: The Delhi Police questioned Monday three Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, in connection with the January 5 violence on campus, even as students and teachers boycotted classes on the opening day of the winter semester amid a standoff over the hostel fee hike issue.
A delegation of teachers of JNU knocked the doors of the Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry again claiming that the situation is not conducive for conducting academic activities and that students are scared of returning to the campus.
As the JNUSU continued to boycott the registration for the winter semester demanding a complete roll back of the hostel fee hike, the university administration claimed that of the nearly 8,500 students more than 5,000 have registered.
In a statement, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said the fee-related matter has been sorted out and that the continuation of the agitation by students was not justified.
On the probe into the violence, a crime branch team of the Delhi Police visited the JNU and questioned Pankaj Mishra and Vasker Vijay Mech besides Ghosh.
She is among the seven out of the total nine suspects, who are from Left-leaning student organisations while two suspects are from the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Mishra has, however, claimed that he is not affiliated to either side.
“They sought my version of events. They asked me about my complaint. I also asked why they did not register an FIR on the complaint filed by me,” Ghosh later told reporter.
Responding to a plea filed by JNU professors, the Delhi Police also informed the Delhi High Court that it has asked the university administration to preserve and hand over the CCTV footage of the violence but has not yet received any response from the university.
According to the police, Akshat Awasthi and Rohit Shah, who featured in a sting operation conducted by a TV news channel, have also been served with notices to join the investigation. The ABVP has denied that the two are their members.
The classes for winter semester in the varsity were scheduled to start Monday. However, both students and teachers boycotted the classes amid stand-off with the administration over the fee-hike issue. They also remained firm on their demand to sack Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar.
At a meeting with the HRD ministry officials, a five-member delegation of JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) said the atmosphere was not conducive to conduct academic activities.
“We do not feel secure on campus, atmosphere not conducive for academic activities. Students who left campus after violence scared to return, how can we resume teaching,” JNUTA president DK Lobiyal is known to have told ministry officials.
A student from the School of Social Sciences, who did not wish to be named, said, “We first want the issues to be sorted, only then can we focus on our studies. Just to make a fresh beginning, we cannot forget the past.”