JNU Student Claims Assault by Guards Over Permission to Go Out

Menon says that he sat at the gate to protest the guards who didn’t let him go out, despite permission.

Updated02 Apr 2020, 02:15 PM IST
Education
3 min read

A student of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University has claimed he was beaten up by guards from Cyclopse, a private agency in charge of security in the campus, after an altercation broke out between the two parties over permission to leave the central varsity, during which he also threaten to cough and spread coronavirus. In a video of the incident that has since gone viral, Pranav Menon can be seen sitting at the north gate, while refusing to vacate the spot.

“You sit there,” a man can be hard saying in the video, following which he asks other guards to pick him up. Menon then says, “I am not here to listen to your rubbish sir...I won’t get up.”

When the man insists, Menon threatens them saying that “don’t touch me or I will cough on you.” He can also be heard saying that he "will cough and spread coronavirus.”

In the video, Menon can also be heard saying that he is not being allowed to go despite having a letter. The guards respond asking him to get it stamped, after which he will be allowed to leave.

The video ends with Menon being picked up by guards from the gate, during which he also holds the collar of the man in the video. The man then turns back lunges at the camera that was recording the incident, causing it to stop.

Had Requisite Letter: Menon

Speaking to The Quint, Menon said that he wanted to go out and stay with his friend, who he stays 500 metres away and had secured a letter from the hostel warden for this purpose.

Conceding that it may not have been the most rational decision to take amid an outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown, Menon added that he had obtained the letter after assuring the warden that he would return only after the lockdown period is over. He claims when he went to the gate, he was asked for the signature of Dean of Students.

“First, they said I need a signature of the Dean of Education, which wasn’t there in the letter. After making me wait for 30 mins, they said it needs to be stamped by the warden and that I could have forged it. I asked them to call the warden and confirm, but they refused to.”
Pranav Menon, JNU Student

Menon mentions that a notice issued by JNU administration restricting movement of students had only mentioned that students who want to go out must obtain a letter from the warden and that it didn’t mention anything about the Dean’s signature or any stamp.

Image of the circular.
Image of the circular.
(Photo: The Quint)

The Quint has accessed the circular, which says that students will be allowed to go out of campus only “in case of an emergency” and only after receiving permission from the warden along with an undertaking stating that they would not return to campus till the lockdown is lifted.

Student Claims He Was Beaten up By Guards

Menon said that that he decided to sit at the gate after they snatched his permission away. “One or two things instigating things I did say that I will cough or something on you. But it was in a situation where there were five-six guards and just me,” he said, referring to his threats of coughing on guards.

Menon alleged that he was then picked up by guards, during which he held the collar of one of the security staff, causing his buttons to go off. This, he says “upset the man and he slapped me, but I didn’t raise my hand.”

Menon alleges he was taken inside the security room, where he claims security officers kicked his face and beat him up. He was later taken to the health centre and then to AIIMS Apex Centre, where he received two staples to cover his wounds in the head.

Strict Action Against Lockdown Violators: JNU

Reacting to the incident, JNU Registrar told news agency ANI that those who have been endangering the health and safety of fellow students must not repeat themselves and that strict action would be taken against those violating the lockdown.

“Those who have been indulging in activities endangering health and safety of JNU campus residents are cautioned not to repeat such acts. Strict action will be taken against violators of the #21dayLockdown.”
JNU Registrar to ANI.

Meanwhile, the JNU Teachers association has demanded that officials of Cyclops involved in the incident must must be removed immediately.

While maintaining that the private security and its personnel have become law unto themselves, JNUTA called for Cyclops to be withdrawn from contract.

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Published: 02 Apr 2020, 11:45 AM IST
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