Another Burglary on Campus, but the process of replacing the Cyclops agency remains opaque!

The JNUTA is horrified that yet another burglary took place in a faculty colleague’s New Poorvanchal yesterday (16th May 2022 early hours). In this case too, like some of the earlier cases, the colleague and her family had left the house only for the night and had informally informed the JNU security of their short-term absence. The colleague has not only lost cash and valuables, but feels extremely insecure and unsafe, a feeling shared by all residents living on campus in recent times. The JNUTA extends its support to the colleague and her family.

This is the 14th case since 2019 and the 3rd in the last 2 years in the same locality as per the information we have. The last robbery took place in the same locality less than two months back. We are surprised that even as the administration is in the process of hiring services of a new security agency, with the existing one clearly blacklisted, such incidents continue to happen. We reiterate that the present security agency has to be held responsible for their complete dereliction of duty to carry out the services they were hired for, before the new security system is in place. In this case too, as we had mentioned in our letter to the JNU Registrar on 28th March 2022, there is a case for an investigation of complicity of the security services as the security was informed of the vacancy of the house.

It is the responsibility of the JNU administration to ensure a safe and secure campus. Till now our demand that the hiring process of the new security agency should be a transparent and participatory one, has not been acceded to. The campus residents, as of now, are completely in the dark about the terms and conditions based on which the hiring of the new agency is being done. We repeat that the following points should constitute essential conditions for hiring a new security agency (quoted from letter to the JNU Registrar, dated 28th March 2022):

  1. The process of tender should follow the letter and spirit of law. It should include in its advertisement the need for a professional and well-trained security force which is sensitive and cognisant of the needs of students, staff and faculty on a residential university campus.
  2. The subsequent terms and conditions of the contract, including indemnity conditions should be accountable to all residents and members of the University.
  3. The said contract should be made available to representatives of different sections of the community, including the teachers, to facilitate an accountable and consultative process of recruitment.
  4. A grievance redressal mechanism should be put in place with respect to the security services of the campus, in which representation from all sections of campus community is ensured.
  5. The contract should have a zero-toleration policy on sexual harassment or any form of violence that is perpetrated or supported by the security agency. It has to be ensured that the system of security put in place is gender-sensitive, with inbuilt provisions of gender sensitization of the security personnel deployed on campus.

The JNUTA demands that the JNU administration strengthens the security with immediate effect, so that no other colleague has to go through this trauma. It demands fast action against the Cyclops Security and Allied Services Pvt. Ltd. for its abject failure to do its duty and institutional support to all colleagues who have suffered from these burglaries.

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