JNU issues notice to 21, including victim of sexual harassment, for protesting at varsity gate

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New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has issued a proctorial inquiry notice to 21 students, including the victim of an alleged sexual harassment incident, who have been sitting on an indefinite strike here at the main gate of the campus against alleged inaction by the varsity administration in the matter.

The students have been staging a protest against the alleged incident since April 1. The incident allegedly took place on the night of March 30.

The chief proctor’s office asked the protesting students to appear before it to explain their position.

The alleged victim could not be contacted for an immediate reaction.

The varsity’s chief security officer on April 2 submitted a report to the proctor’s office saying that the students had allegedly obstructed the north gate of the campus, where the protest is taking place.

The chief proctor’ office has also issued proctorial inquiry notice to JNUSU officer bearers, including the students’ union president Dhananjay.

“A complaint dated April 2, 2024 from the chief security officer has been received by the Chief Proctor Office. In the complaint, it has been alleged that you obstructed the north gate (entrance) of the university from April 1, 2024 (5.24pm) causing difficulty for the students, residents, staff, senior citizens, differently abled persons, school children, patients, and so on,” the notice sent to students read asking them to join the proctorial inquiry at 3 pm on Thursday.

According to the complaint of the chief security officer, the varsity officials tried to hold talks with JNUSU president Dhananjay several times asking him to convince students to clear the gate, after which the varsity would issue a letter to declare the two former students accused in the case “out-of-bound” from the campus.

However, the students demanded that the varsity should first release the order and then they will end the protest, the officer added.

Condemning the proctorial inquiry notice to the alleged victim and the students standing in solidarity with her, Left students outfit Democratic Students’ Federation termed it an attempt to “intimidate” the victim.

“Instead of ensuring time-bound redressal of sexual harassment cases and taking actions to ensure a gender-just campus, the JNU administration is trying to target and intimidate survivors of sexual harassment and other representatives and activists demanding a gender-just campus,” the DSF said in a statement.

A female student of JNU was allegedly sexually harassed near the JNU Ring Road late night on March 30 by fellow students travelling in a car.

The four students accused by the complainant include two women, who are ex-students of the varsity.

The complainant has been sitting on a indefinite strike at the main entrance of the campus since April 1 against alleged inaction by the varsity administration over her complaint.

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