JNU teachers protest random arrests, demand Kanhaiya’s release (Lead, correcting name in para 3)

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) on Sunday protested skipping of the “institutional mechanism” by the varsity administration in allowing police on the campus and letting them “make random arrests”.

Addressing media persons in the university campus, the association also demanded immediate release of JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

JNUTA general secretary Bikramaditya Choudhary rpt Choudhury said students should not have been arrested randomly and the matter should have been dealt with sensibly.

“JNUTA is of the firm opinion that the matter arising out of the event can and should have been dealt with through established institutional mechanism. Instead of relying on this (mechanism), the university administration allowed police to enter the campus to search different premises and even make random arrests,” he said.

A large number of JNU teachers, university students, teachers from Ambedkar University and Federation of All India Central University Teacher’s Association gathered in the campus to express solidarity with Kanhaiya Kumar.

They formed a long human chain from the university gate up to Chandrabhaga hostel.

Choudhary said certain forces were trying to create fear in the students’ minds to discourage dissent.

“Forced away from their normal academic activities, the students are out on the street. There is an attempt to create panic that criticism of any kind would entail sedition charges is much more than merely disturbing,” he said.

“I only believe that good sense (must) prevail and the university be allowed to function. The (central government) has been elected democratically and they should act democratically and allow dissent,” Choudhary said.

Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) president Nandita Narain held with the statements made by union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, “a situation similar” to the Hyderabad varsity was being created.

“The situation is similar to what had happened at University of Hyderabad. It is almost an identical script. The ABVP first takes it up and says these are anti-national activities,” she said.

Meanwhile, the university administration has asked all the people to help “maintain a conducive environment to achieve our academic goals”.

“As a university, we would like to focus on academics. Maintaining a conducive environment in JNU to achieve our academic goals. We request everyone to help focus on our main objective without any interference,” said a press statement from the vice chancellor’s office.

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