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Contrasting narrative

Contrasting narrative

The revelations made by the Jawahar Lal Nehru University in an RTI reply present a contradictory picture. Contrary to the statement by the JNU administration that students had vandalised the CCTVs and Biometric systems at the server room on January 3, the RTI reply states that the main server of JNU at the Centre for Information System (CIS) was shut down on January 3 and had gone down the next day due to power supply disruption. JNU"s reply also cites that "no continuous and entire" CCTV footage of cameras installed at North/Main gate of the JNU campus from 3 pm to 11 pm on January 5 was available. January 5 is the day when a masked mob — yet to be apprehended — entered the varsity campus and attacked students and teachers with rods and stones. In an FIR, the JNU administration had claimed that on January 3, a group of students wearing masks had forcibly entered the CIS and switched off the power supply, making the servers dysfunctional, thereby affecting a range functions, including CCTV surveillance, biometric attendance and internet services. But the RTI reply by the varsity speaks of a contrasting narrative. The contrasting narrative based on the RTI reply does not help the case of apprehending the culprits as no CCTV footage can be obtained. But it does help in uncovering the administration's connivance in the horrific attack. Moreover, the administration now has to explain the RTI response versus their own version of the day's events. In the RTI reply, the university also cites that the servers of the CCTV cameras are located in the data centre and not at the CIS office. If the servers are not located at the CIS office, how did JNU administration, in its FIR on January 3, level an accusation that masked students forcibly entered CIS and switched off the power supply disrupting CCTV surveillance when the servers to the latter are elsewhere (in the data centre). While zero arrests have been made by the Delhi Police in the matter, this RTI response only makes it more dubious.

No continuous CCTV footage between 3 pm and 11 pm on January 5 specifically also makes the matter murkier. From the perspective of attackers, CCTVs not working, street lights switched off and gates to the campus left unchecked makes a perfect plan to carry out the nefarious plot. From the surface, all these steps would normally fall in the "preparation" stage of a crime. The revelation made by the RTI response must be scrutinised and brought up in the investigation as it points to an unknown but inside hand. Administration ought to come clean by addressing the uncomfortable revelation made by the RTI response.

Editorial

Editorial

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