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JNU students 'gherao' admin block over compulsory attendance issue

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

JNU students today gheraoed the administration block demanding a meeting with the on the issue of compulsory attendance, and stopped Chief Kumar and Rector-1 Mahapatra from leaving the building.

Hundreds of students, led by the (JNUSU), picketed outside all the gates of the building and confronted and stopped senior university officials who tried to go out.

M Jagadesh Kumar was in his office.

In a statement, said Mahapatra was feeling unwell and asked the students to disperse.

The students demanded the administration revoke the compulsory 75 per cent attendance required in an academic year for availing of scholarships and fellowships, and convene a meeting of the which was postponed indefinitely.

Since 11 AM, a group of students performed skits and mimes and sang songs near the main entrance of the administration block. Security guards were deployed to block the students' entry into the building.

A human chain was also formed around the building.

"We are just following UGC guidelines not JNU guidelines. Students have all the right to protest as they feel it is injustice according to them. Ask anyone about compulsory attendance, they will say it is needed," Chief Kumar, who was gheraoed for nearly two hours, told reporters.

Speaking about the attendance ruling, Kumar, who was allowed to leave later said, it was passed with a majority in the

"Though it was not mentioned in the agenda, one of the centres brought up the issue in the and the said it must be implemented. The JNU works according to statutes and ordinances," he added.

In a letter written to the administration in morning, the JNUSU said, "Students of this university are waiting for the to have a dialogue with JNUSU representatives."

"There has been no call to lay siege to the administration building. All administrative works have been going on without any obstruction," JNUSU said, adding the would continue till the met the students.

Rector-1 Mahapatra, when he was stopped by the students from going out, said he could not take a decision on the matter in individual capacity and that there would be dialogue with the students.

in the statement requested the students to disperse citing age, job responsibilities of the officials who were gheraoed.

"The administration has repeatedly requested the students to let the officials go out. Now the Rector-1 is feeling giddy and may require medical attention. The students are also protesting at the top of their voice and beating drums and obstructing the functioning of the varsity," he said in the statement.

After the statement was issued, the JNUSU called in ambulance to treat Mahapatra's medical emergency but refused to disperse.

JNUSU said until the students meet the and their demands are met they will remain there.

Meanwhile, calling the an "illegal confinement", a group of professors sat on a dharna after they were not allowed to go in to let their colleagues out.

The students raised slogans against the professors.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 23:15 IST