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Yamuna Residents on Indefinite Hunger Strike against Dr. Najmul Arif: Pamphlets and Posters

Posted in JNU by Vik on April 2, 2012

Yamuna hostel (JNU) residents are on a hunger strike against one of the hostel ex-wardens: Dr. Najmul Arif, also JNU faculty member. Dr. Najmul Arif committed many wrongs and a lot of pamphlets, posters and protests in the past happened for justice (see this mid-day post for example) in vain. The Yamuna hostel residents in jnu are now on an indefinite hunger strike from April 1, 2012 against the jnu administration and the ex-warden.

See the pamphlets and posters in the campus of last few days.

Media coverage: Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times ( both dated 4 April, 2012), Hindu Story (9 April 2012); 9 April 2012 Deccan Herald story (strike ends with written assurance by admn)

Najmul arif, jnu

Najmul arif, jnu Najmul arif, jnu

najmul arif hunger strike jnu

See the text of the open letter to jnu VC by residents of Yamuna Hostel (click to see the pdf scanned image of the letter, as the following text is machine-generated and may have errors)

To,
The Vice Chancellor,
JNU
New Delhi-l10067
30l3l12
Sir.
It is with a deep sense of anguish and at the same time outrage that we are writing to you one last time. We, the students of Yamuna Hostel, had reposed our faith in ycur office to redress our grievances, which were extremely serious in nature. To reiterate, the complaints against the former warden, Najmul Arif, ranged from physical abuse of workers, illegal deductions from wages and forging of workers’ attendance registers to the nonrefund of students’ dues and subverting the tendering process. As per your instructions, a Fact-Finding Team was set up, comprising the former Associate Dean and Provost (Uttarakhand). Some 40 students and 6 workers
submitted their complaints in writing and these were verified by the Fact-Finding Team. Moreover, we also
submitted confiscated records of the forged attendance registers and audio records demonstrating the
veracity of our complaints. The Fact-Finding Team submitted their report after nearly 8 months of detailed
investigations, during which time we waited patiently.
Once the report was submitted, your office terminated her rvardenship on December 9,2011.
Following her termination, she was accorded a special dispensation to stay on in the Warden’s residence for three
months on humanitarian grounds, i.e.. until March 9. 2012, aithough Clauses 2.20 arrd 2.21 of the IHA’s Hostel
Manual mandate vacation within one month. Further” although the Fact-Finding Team recommended further
investigation of a number of issues, your office initiated only a financial audit. Workers’ payments and
their attendance records are not covered in such a process. Other aspects like physical abuse and
harassment also do not fa!! rvithin the purview of a financial audit. What was worse, Najmul Arif sat with
the auditors on several occasions and used these opportunities to intimidate workers. Is a financial audit
the only requirement in assessing the extent of the financial and other offences, especiaiiy wheri the culprit
has taken care to tamper with the records? Is a financial audit ever going to reveal that one of our workers
was kicked by Najmul Arif? Is a financial audit going to reveal the casteist remarks, insults and assaults
upon the dignify of several students and workers? We would like to remind you that action was taken against a
student of this university on the basis of a recorded telephonic conversation in which the student was demanding a
bribe from a vendor in the hostel. Meanwhile, in Najmul Arifs case, special care was taken to deliberately
sideline the areas outlined for further investigation by the Fact-Finding Team. Surely she enjoys a special
status in the university. For after all, this was only one of the several instances in which she was accorded
such a favour. We have RTI records to prove that the conversion of ber initial appointment as an ad-hoc
Research Assistant was instantaneously converted to a permanent one as an Assistant Archivist in 2006
without any advertisement or interview for the post. Needless to say, she doesn’t even have the
qualifications of an Archivist. Moreover, Prof. Rahmatullah Khan, the former Rector of the University who was
instrumental in appointing her to this post, is also the beneficiary of her Provident Fund.
Today, we have learnt
that Prof. Khan is using his poiiticai connections to unduly pressurize the administration against taking any
serious action in this matter.
Meanwhile, Najmul Arif continues to be a threatening presence for the workers that she has physically
abused and the students she has harassed for so many years.
For several years, several students and workers of Yamuna have forfeited their dues and dignity to Najmul
Arif because she enjoyed a special status with the administration. And today, the Rector tells us that
Najmul Arif has generated savings for the hmtel! \Ye are appalled at the perversiQr of this statement. In
other words, tvhat the Rector means is that the non-payment of students’ and workers’ dues is the way to
generate savings for the hostel! Perhaps the administration too should contribute to the savings of the
universit-y” by voluntarily forfeiting their salaries!
It was your olfice that appointed an Otlicr:r on Special Duty (OSD), Prof. Sachidanand Sinha, who was
instrumental in restoring the democratically elected student bodies in the hostel, as w’ell as overhauling the mess
facilities and initiating the expansion of infrastructure and the restoration of normalcy to the hostel. However, his
tenure was abruptly ended without any consultation with the hostel residents and without any status report. And
the DOS, who has not bothered to visit the hostel even once, simply calls us a headache. This clearly implies that
the OSD, who had complete knowledge of the hostel, was deliberately removed to undo all the work.that had
been started. Further, we have every reason to believe that the OSD was deliberately eased out of his post in order
to bring in the Deputy Registrar (IHA), against whom there are already several complaints of financial
impropriety, precisely when construction worth over Rs. 2 crore is about to begin.
Today, the DOS has no answers when we ask him about the status of Najmul Arif and the rule under
which she has been accorded this special status. Arif has no regard whatsoever for the security and privacy
concerns of the women residents of the hostel. She brings in unverified male workers in the early morning hours
(during non-official hours) without a gate pass, and the DOS’s office instead of asking her for an explanation of
this violation bends over backwards to ensure that a gate pass is instantaneously issued without any verification.
Each day, as an illegal occupant, she uses enorrnous quantities of .,1’ater for her gardening without paylng
anything. Meanwhile, the hostel pays a water bill of Rs. 50,000 per month, which is collected from the students’
hostel fees. So in other words, the DOS wants us to subsidise an illegal occupant’s stay in the hostel. The
DOS further insists that he is not answerable for any of our questions on the differential apptication of the
IHA Hostel Manual’s rules. According to him, since rve are merely sfudents and she is ‘faculty’ (her current
status whether that of a Research Assistant or Assistant Archivist is still unclear), she is entitled to these
privileges and relaxation of rules. And if we insist on implementation of the Hostel Manual we are issued
veiled threats of being given show cause notices.
Today, the actual source of these threats is apparently once again Najmul Arif. With her supposed threats of
taking the university to court, the administration is now tryrng to tell us to keep quiet or face eviction. Suddenly,
eligibilit) criteria that were not applied by the university for 12 years of this hostel’s existence are being
raised to threaten the shutting dorvn of the hostel and eviction of its residents, startingrvith those who have
taken the lead in exposing the financial and other improprieties of Najmul Arif. lnstead of the university
taking Najmul Arif to court over her dubious appointment as well as her malpractices in tbe hostrJ, r;,e ai- askeci
to have a ‘large heaft’ and bear with Na-imul Ar-rf iu tlie hc.t,ui untr’t iier retirement. We ask, if Najmul Arif is sucti
a noble Feisan inCer;ti, arrd 11’she has ‘served this university for the last 12 years’, why can’t her model service be
enjoyed by other sections of this university? Why can’t she be offered a promotion and given accommodation in a
Professor’s quarters, so that her sterling record can be duiy appreciated? After all, bending rules to favour her is
nothing new for this university.
To put it straight, is this what your office stands for? If Najmul Arif has ‘served’ the university for 12
years’ what about the unpaid service that has been offered by scores of workers who have been tortured
and financially looted by Arif? Perhaps that need not be acknowledged, for after all their services remain
as invisible as their presence and their payments too!
Sir, we have patiently waited for a whole year in the hope that your office will uphold the basic principles of
justice. However, we feel betrayed that despite having followed the procedure as outlined by your office, the
adequate corrective measures have not been taken- We, thc residents of Yamuna llostel, have only three
demands to place before you.
1) Implement the IHA hostel manual equally and make Najmul Arif vacate the accommodation within
the hostel premises.
2) Appoint two permanent wardens and until this can be done continue the arrangement with the
previous OSD.
3) Immediately release the due payments to the aggrieved workers.
We request you to act upon these immediately.
Yours sincerely,
Sd/- Residents of Yamuna Hostel

Posters shot on 4 April 2012 (including an SFI appeal in support of the huger strike)

najmul arif jnu yamuna protests najmul arif jnu yamuna hostel jnu hunger strike

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