The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration failed to implement the order of installing CCTV cameras at every hostel gates of JNU. This has been rejected by the JNUSU (Student’s Union) terming the decision as ‘authoritarian’. The students were only aware of such a move from the authority’s side only when they saw a few workers laying wires for the project.
“The hostel president, warden and caretaker did not have any knowledge about this. … The work has been halted and we have requested the hostel president to call a general body meeting as early as possible and reject this surveillance proposal. Many other hostels have rejected installation of CCTV cameras,” said JNUSU President Mohit Pandey.
In defense the authority said that they were only following orders of the Court which wanted CCTVs to be set outside the hostels and not inside for security reasons after a student disappeared from the campus. “After the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmad from the campus, the High Court had asked us why we don’t have CCTV cameras. After that, in a recent hearing, the High Court once again told us to install CCTV cameras. Hence, we’re installing them in public spaces. These cameras will only be placed at the entry of hostels, not inside. Besides, we’re also installing them at all university gates, and school areas. Cameras have already been installed in three to four hostels, but in two hostels, students are refusing to allow it,” said JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar.
The Student Union blamed the authority for not informing the students before taking the step. They also claim that there hasn’t been any hostel meeting in the past year to implement such an order.