In another incident of theft on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, miscreants broke into the house of Professor Dhananjay Singh and decamped with valuables.
According to an FIR registered in the case, Singh, who is the chairperson of the Centre for English Studies and Associate Dean of School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, had left his house in the campus on March 17 for Lucknow. He returned on March 24 and found that his house had been ransacked.
Singh claimed that the thieves broke into his house through a window and it had been left open.
The faculty has now written to JNU vice-chancellor Santishree D Pandit requesting for a new residence in the campus, sources said.
Meanwhile, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) claimed “lack of accountability and commitment towards the safety and security of campus residents in the past years”.
It said from 2019 onwards, there have been 13 incidents of theft which point “towards the extreme vulnerability that the campus residents have been exposed to in the recent years”.
“There has also been a total lack accountability and commitment of the security service provider, JNU security staff and the JNU administration towards the safety and security of the residents in the past years,” the teachers’ body said.
Out of the 13 cases of theft, four involved single women faculty members; three of these were those wherein the colleagues were in the house when the burglary was attempted/done, putting them at acute danger of life and inducing long-term psychological trauma, it noted.
In five cases, JNUTA said, the financial losses are immense where faculty members have lost all or most of the valuables they had in their houses.
“Most of the thefts were concentrated in Uttarakhand and Poorvanchal (old and new) residential clusters that are close to exit points from the university, which are supposed to be guarded round-the-clock.
“The thefts, however, were not restricted to these two localities as three incidents of theft happened in the transit accommodations (old and new) which also have a 24-hour deployment of security personnel,” it said.
The JNUTA also alleged that in some cases, the occupants had informed the security about their absence from home.
“It is evident that the houses and their occupants were watched, and the thefts are organised. Though in all cases, the security and/or the police have been informed (FIR lodged in many cases), no conclusive action has been taken in terms of apprehending culprits, recovery of stolen items or compensation paid in any of the cases,” it said.
The varsity is in the process of appointing a new security agency and has set up a committee that has been mandated to facilitate the hiring of an alternative security
“The Cyclops Security and Allied Services Pvt Ltd has to be held responsible for what can be described at best their complete dereliction of duty to carry out the services they were hired for,” JNUTA said in a statement.
It demanded that compensation be paid to all the victims of theft, criminal trespass and criminal intimidation according to the specifications outlined in their respective complaints, by the security agency, before the security arrangements are changed.