New Delhi: Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) participate in a demonstration organised by the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) to protest against a hike in fees and some other decisions taken by the JNU administration, outside the varsity gate . Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Nov 21 : Over the last week, the protest by JNU students not only got shriller but stressed to find resonance in India's political discourse. So much so, Members of Parliament started giving adjournment motions. With visuals of students being beaten by cops, the sympathy leaned towards them. But there's a counter narrative to this as well.

IANS spoke to three JNU professors who narrated how they were held captive, one of them for more than 24 hours, allegedly by the very students they teach.

Here's a counter-view very few have spoken about so far.

Dr Vandana Mishra, Professor in School of International Relations and Associate Dean of Students Mishra was teaching in her class when over a 100 students forcibly entered her classroom and held her captive for over 29 hours.

Narrating her ordeal, Mishra claimed she was made to sleep on concrete floor, not allowed to visit the restroom and called names by the students who accused her of being inclined towards a certain ideology.

"I was accompanied by at least five girls every time I wanted to visit a restroom, called by different names and accused of serving an ideology, which has never been the truth," Mishra told IANS.

Mishra was rescued only after some students started to live broadcast her captivity, and the feed somehow reached the Vice-Chancellor of the varsity who then tweeted the video clip. It was only after the Vice-Chancellor's tweet that the SHO of the Vasant Kunj police station along with an ACP rank officer intervened and helped get professor get out of the classroom.

Dr Umesh Kadam, Professor of History and Dean of Students It was during an essential Inter Hall Administration meet (IHA), when Kadam alleges that students forcibly entered the convention center and held him captive even after he repeatedly complained of health issues. He further alleged that the ambulance which was supposed to take him to a nearby health center was also stopped from moving ahead.

"It took the ambulance two hours to reach the health center which is merely 15 minutes away from the convention center. I was made to suffer by the students just because I did not agree with their unjustified demand," Kadam said.

Condemning the incident, JNU Vice Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar had posted on Twitter, "The university administration is contemplating severe action against some JNU students whose conduct today has been not only unbecoming, but dangerous and shameful. This kind of behaviour by a section of JNU students is highly condemnable and outrageous." Dr Nagendra Srinivas, Professor of Russian and Warden, Narmada Hostel
According to Srinivas, over 150 students had barged into his residence in the campus at midnight, their demand was that he should attend the General Body Meeting of the Narmada Hostel and sign and accept a memorandum by the students against the hostel fee hike.

"But I rejected it because rules do not allow a warden to attend the GBM and above all the same memorandum was accepted by me just a day ago. All they wanted was to create a ruckus by calling me in the meeting," Srinivas said.

Srinivas added that he was forced to attend the meeting after the students started to shout slogans in his house, which terrified his six-year-old daughter.

"My daughter woke up after they started shouting and raising slogans, she was so terrified that we had to request a colleague to let her sleep in his house for the rest of the night," Srinivas said.

Fearing for the safety of his family, Srinivas had to join the GBM which concluded at 3 a.m. on November 4 after he again accepted the same memorandum which he had accepted a day ago.

Students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have been protesting for the past several days demanding a complete rollback of a proposed hike in hostel fees, along with reconvening of the Inter-Hall Administration meeting that had passed the proposed fee hike on October 28.

The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) also demanded the resignation of Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, claiming he had lost the faith of the students and teachers.

(Rohan Agarwal can be contacted at rohan.a@ians.in)

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