FIR against JNU students protesting against fee hike, allegations of ‘defacing’ Vivekananda statue

NU’s protesting students have vociferously contested the ‘evidence of the vandalism’ produced by the administration to the police, which, reportedly, consists of photos and videos


The Delhi Police filed an FIR against unidentified persons on Sunday for alleged vandalism at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s administration block during student protests. The university administration has claimed that the students defaced the property when they were protesting against the increase in the proposed fee hike by the Inter Hall Administration. Protesting students have strongly rebutted this.

Students had pasted posters with slogans such as “No to fee hike” and “Reject Hostel Manual” on the walls of the administrative block of the university, a traditional method of protest at JNU. They have staunchly denied allegations of ‘defacing’ a platform on which a yet-to-be-unveiled statue of Swami Vivekananda stands. Some students had also entered the administrative block on Wednesday and allegedly painted messages on the door of Vice Chancellor M Jagadeesh Kumar’s office. Such messages were also painted at the rector’s and registrar’s office.

Students responded thus to the slew of criminal complaints with slogans and key campaign points:

  • Modi Government wants students Jailed for demanding Affordable, Accessible and Quality Education For All!_
  • Modi-Mamidala Duo wants students behind bars for asking why are they making JNU the costliest among Central Universities through fee hike?
  • Let’s Assertwe are 8,500 students, Fighting to Save our Right to Education! Then why this motivated targeting and victimisation of students and present and former JNUSU office bearers? Doesn’t it speak volumes of the real political agenda of the VC and Co.?
  • The JNU VC MamidalaJagadesh Kumar, an “agent” of the Modi Government, has filed targeted motivated FIR for protesting against aRs 62,000-70,000 fee hike from the present Rs, 30, 000-35,000 fee structure.
  • The entire 8,500 student strength of JNU have been resisting the illogical fee hike in the name of utility charges (electricity and water bill), service charge (salaries of hostel workers and maintenance of hostel), increase in room rent and other hostel related fees.
  • 40% of student in JNU come from families whose annual income is less than Rs 1,44,000. The farcical concession given by JNU Admin to BPL families means their annual hostel and mess bill after the fee hike and partial rollback means they need to pay RS 47500-49300, which is 176% to 183% of their income.
  • We would like to ask the Delhi Police, is it a crime to demand answers about this illogical fee hike? Unfortunately the Modi Government wants students opposing the destruction of public funded education to be jailed. It wants to bulldoze public funded Higher education, to pave the way for foreign and corporate-run profit minded universities!
  • When our Universities have been turned into prisons, the students will turn prisons into our libraries.
  • Condemning the FIR, we demand  “Complete Roll Back and Roll Back For All” of the fees.*

    Post Script:

  • Has any ABVP student been named in the FIR? ABVP has been claiming to be part of JNU students movement. Is there a special treatment for ‘His Master’s Voice’?
  • We have time and again said the students of JNU haven’t vandalised or defaced the Vivekananda statue. We condemn the vandalisation in the strongest terms.
  • JNU VC and his cohorts along with a few media channels have been trying to divert the debate towards statue vandalism.Why? It is not difficult see the compulsions of the VC&Co.
  • JNU VC lost his moral authority when he shifted JNU convocation to AICTE away from JNU campus. The entire world saw how thousands of JNU students fearlessly took on the combined might of the VC, Police and the Govt. JNU VC lost the legitimacy and narrative so badly. So much so that he held even JNU Executive Council meeting 18km away from JNU!

So, in order to save his face, he has been

              >> ‘using’ MHRD to push the false narrative of ‘partial roll back of fee hike’

              >>‘using Godi media” tirelessly to spread the narrative on statue vandalism

              >> and‘using’ the Delhi Police to slap selective FIRs to derail the raging movement.

The Chief Security Officer of the university had filed the complaint and reportedly submitted photo and video evidence to the police after which an FIR was registered. Two additional complaints were filed against the defacement of the Vivekananda statue by Professor Buddha Singh, the chairman of Swami Vivekananda Statue Installation Committee, and the BharatiyaJanataYuvaMorcha. Professor Singh has asked the police to register an FIR under Section 426 (punishment for mischief) and other relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and under relevant provisions of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.

In his complaint he also said that there were objectionable and political remarks written on the base of the statue, targeted at a political party and a group of people donning “saffron clothes”.

Student organisations havecriticised the registration of the case citing that the Modi government is trying to make JNU the costliest public university through the fee hike. It has said that 40% of the students in JNU come from families with an annual income of less than Rs. 144,000. The preposterous concession given by the administration to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families means that their annual hostel and mess bill, even after the ‘rollback’ will shoot up to Rs. 47,500 – Rs. 49,300 which is 176% to 183% of their income.

Apart for demanding a complete rollback and the rollback of fees for all, the AISA has questioned the involvement of the students of the AkhilBharatiyaVidyarthiParishad (ABVP) who have claimed to be part of the JNU students’ movement, asking of any of them had been named in the FIR. The AISA has clarified that the students of JNU hadn’t defaced the statue of Swami Vivekananda and it was the VC, along with a few media channels who were trying to give a negative spin to the students’ protests.

The student agitation had taken a turn for the worst last week when the Delhi Police used water cannons to disperse protestors. The VC’s decision was also condemned by the Teachers’ Association who have now asked him to step down from his post.

The students have planned a long march to the Parliament to further their protest and get the government to order the IHA for a complete rollback in the fee hike.


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