New Delhi, Sep 10 | Protests erupted in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday as the administration asked some students to vacate the Mahi-Mandvi hostel dormitory, as their stay was “illegal”.
The protesting students claimed that they were staying in the dormitory as the hostel rooms have not been allotted to them till now and they had nowhere else to go.
“At around 4 a.m., the warden, along with few guards, came to the Mahi-Mandvi, (JNU) dormitory and asked us to leave with our belongings, saying that we are residing illegally. We are the students of this University and the accommodation outside the campus is expensive,” said a first-year student who wished not to be named.
The students held a protest near Sabarmati Dhaba inside the campus.
“We cannot afford private accommodations as we belong to poor families. You only tell us where will we go? We are asked to leave the dormitory by 7 a.m. There are a lot of rooms vacant in the hostels, some dormitories have been turned into storerooms but we are not getting a place to stay,” said another first-year student of BA in Chinese.
“We were just sleeping, they checked our identity cards, after that, they asked us to vacate the hostel, we asked them to extend the time of our stay as we have not been allotted the hostels yet but they refused,” another student studying at the School of International Studies told IANS.
Talking to IANS, hostel Warden Gautam Jha said: “It is our duty to check the hostel time to time as we sometimes have security issues. During this exercise, we not only check unauthorised guests but we also check if somebody is possessing any drugs or any other prohibited items.”
Such unexpected guests affect the resources of the hostel and create space issues, he added.
Students leaders from the Left Unity joined the protest in order to show solidarity at a time when the declaration of results of the Students Union elections is just round the corner.
“The Warden came in the morning and started troubling the students asking them to vacate the hostel. It is the right of the student to be provided with accommodation as the university is a residential campus,” said Satish Chandra Yadav, General Secretary candidate from the Left Unity.
Hitting out at the administration and the fellow parties, he said: “Till today, everyone has been provided with accommodation, but this year, even after a lot of vacant rooms in the various hostels, the allotment is not being made. They are doing this because even before the elections, they had tried to influence the student to vote for ABVP but the students rejected their ideas and tactics and voted for the Left.”
“Students know that ABVP only supports rioting and the ruling party and does not fight for the real rights of the JNU students. So now when they are facing a big defeat in the elections, they are now taking out their frustrations on the students and using such tactics to trouble the students,” he added.