Amid growing outrage over the attack on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus earlier this week, the centre today asked the institution administration to take its students and faculty members into confidence and "restore normalcy" at the earliest.
At a meeting with JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, officials with the Human Resource Development Ministry stressed on the need to be more "communicative" with students and faculty members in order to resolve the ongoing stand-off on the campus. "Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare and Joint Secretary GC Hosur held a meeting with the JNU Vice Chancellor at the ministry today to discuss efforts to restore normalcy. He informed us that efforts were being made to facilitate semester registration for willing students and create a conducive environment for academic pursuits," a ministry official told news agency PTI.
Some students and faculty members have accused Jagadesh Kumar of enabling the attack by 60-100 masked assailants in order to get back at those opposing the administration's move to hike hostel fees.
On Monday, the HRD Ministry had called officials from the JNU administration for a two-hour meeting to take stock of the situation in the university. Jagadesh Kumar had skipped that discussion.
Many rose in support of the JNU students in the days that followed. While colleges and universities across the country held demonstrations in solidarity with those injured in the attack, Bollywood personalities such as Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap and Richa Chadha condemned the incident in the strongest possible terms.
Deepika Padukone, whose biographical film Chhapaak is due for release on Friday, turned out to be one of the loudest voices supporting the students' cause. "I feel proud that we are not scared of expressing ourselves. It (is good) that we are thinking of our country and its future," she told NDTV on Monday, a day visiting the institution to meet injured students and faculty members.
The JNU campus was thrown into turmoil on Sunday when a group of masked people armed with sticks and iron rods attacked students and teachers for an extended period while the police stood outside its gates citing lack of permission to enter. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a students' union linked to the ruling BJP, has been blamed for the attack.
(With inputs from PTI)