N Sai Balaji, a PhD scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has alleged that just when he is about to finally submit his thesis, the varsity administration is targeting him with unfounded accusations. Today, November 3, the scholar submitted an email to the chief proctor, noting down his concerns over the allegations, and pointing out the lapses in them.
On October 30, Sai Balaji received a letter dated October 30 from the administration stating that he had participated in a protest on November 5, 2019, at 1.24 pm. In response, the scholar demanded proof of his involvement and asked the university to send him any CCTV footage, photos, or videos that show him culpable.
However, “Rather than giving me the evidence regarding the same, the proctor’s office asks me to ignore the notice and sends me a new letter with a new alleged accusation,” states Sai Balaji in his reply. He received the second letter, dated October 31, today.
The new letter states that the scholar was involved in a protest on November 3, 2019, at 1 pm, adding, “PS: Please ignore earlier letter No CPO/25-19DAJ/DVK/JNU/2023/938 dated 30.10.2023 of Chief Proctor Office as there is typographic error of dates of complaint and the incident mentioned in the first paragraph.” But Sai Balaji remarks that even this letter has wrongly recorded the number of the previous letter, and hence, is flawed too.
In a conversation with EdexLive, the scholar said that December 29 is his last day at the university. “I could submit my PhD thesis any time before this date. But they suddenly brought up a four-year-old issue. My name along with six others appeared on the security list of the protest they mentioned in the second letter. And I have confirmed that one of the other six persons has also received a similar notice. This happened only after I asked them for evidence,” Sai Balaji said.
The notice has directed the scholar to appear before the proctor on November 9 at 2 pm in Room 108, Administrative Building. “This is your last opportunity to explain your position,” it says.
Sai Balaji, who is also the National Secretary of All India Students’ Association (AISA), mentions in his reply that previously, in two other incidents, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) were given a clean chit for alleged violence on the campus. “However, till date, no action has been taken by the Chief Proctor’s office or any police complaint filed by the JNU admin regarding the same. This is the precise reason why I am asking for video proof of the alleged speech and the transcription for the same,” he writes.
All the same, “Upon asking for evidence, they must have realised how botched up their act of injustice is and had to sit down to find a complaints/security report that had my name on it. This proves my accusation that the JNU Admin attempted to harass me just before my submission,” the scholar alleges further in his letter, labelling the varsity’s actions as “funny”.