A year since anti-national slogans were allegedly raised on JNU campus, propelling it to the centre of a countrywide debate on nationalism, the university continues to remain a protest site with students taking up one or the other issue, even as administration treaded cautiously to ensure “peace and harmony”. While any sort of “anti-national” activity took a backseat on JNU campus today — February 9, the date on which Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013, some demonstrations by students at the administrative block, now known as ‘Freedom Square’, reflected a similar scenario as it did a year ago.
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A group of students was protesting against the recent amendments in admission policy following University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.
“We have been protesting since a month over the issue and the amendments have still been brought, now possibility of seat-cuts in M.Phil and PhD programmes has further fuelled the agitation.
“Students from various departments gathered at the block to seek an appointment with the Vice Chancellor in this regard,” said Satrupa Chakraborty, General Secretary of JNU Students Union (JNUSU).
“The students will not go from here until our questions are answered,” she added.
After a year of controversies following the arrest of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and two others on sedition charges, JNU administration is also treading cautiously to maintain “peace and harmony” on “crucial” days.
The university administration said it had not received any requests for event or talk for today except one by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for “nationalism lecture” which was denied.
“In the interest of peace and harmony on a crucial day, the programme may be postponed,” the varsity said, denying permission to ABVP.
ABVP, which had yesterday stated that they will anyway go ahead with the event, decided not to hold the lecture.
However, a group of students held a symbolic protest against the “pellet gun attack” on people in Kashmir. Tying white bandage stained with red blood around their head and eyes, the students gathered at the administrative block.
The protesting students also carried photos of children injured by pellet guns.