JNU students booked for 'breaking into library, manhandling guards'
The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against a group of students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for allegedly breaking into the Central Library and manhandling security guards. According to the FIR, the incident took place on Tuesday morning. The JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) demanded the withdrawal of the FIR and the reopening of the library, which has stayed shut since March 2020.
On Tuesday, students occupied the library space and did not allow the staff to enter for sanitization, The Indian Express reported. The guards called a Quick Response Team to disperse the students attempting to break into the premises, the FIR reportedly stated. It said, "Students manhandled security personnel and started hitting the library gate with sticks. The glass section of the gate was damaged."
The FIR added, "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."
Deputy Commissioner of Police, South West Delhi, IP Singh—who is in-charge of the case—told ThePrint, "So far no arrests have been made, and as the case progresses we will look into the matter and proceed accordingly." The college administration and students have been able to solve the matter internally, he said, adding that JNU plans to take disciplinary action against the students responsible.
A case was registered against unknown persons at the Vasant Kunj Police station under sections of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Diseases Act, and the Indian Penal Code. The university is yet to confirm any disciplinary action.
JNU Registrar Ravikesh said in a statement that the students were in violation of the COVID-19 preventive protocol. "It has been found that these students do not even use masks or follow other related COVID-19 guidelines," he said. This has caused health risks for library staff and other hostellers since these students return to the hostel for lunch/dinner and other reasons, he added.
The JNUSU said, "We also extend our solidarity with students named in the FIR and demand that the JNU administration and Delhi Police immediately withdraw the false complaint." One student—who wished to remain anonymous—told ThePrint that the library needs to be opened as the online mode of instruction is not stable and reading material is difficult to access.