Axe attack: JNU to conduct counselling sessions for students

JNU has decided to conduct a series of counselling and gender-sensitisation sessions for its students to address their problems in the wake of brutal attack on a girl in the university campus by her classmate.

New Delhi: JNU has decided to conduct a series of counselling and gender-sensitisation sessions for its students to address their problems in the wake of brutal attack on a girl in the university campus by her classmate.

22-year-old Roshni, a student of JNU`s School of Languages, was attacked with an axe by her classmate Akash (23), who later committed suicide, prompting the university administration to take "corrective and preventive" measures.

"The incident was shocking and unacceptable. Counselling units will be formed for students to share their problems," Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, SK Sopory said.

"Counselling is the best way forward, besides a series of student-teacher meetings to discuss the issue. Trust between students and teachers also needs to be strengthened," Sopory said.

The murder bid by Akash, who was armed with an axe, knife, country-made pistol and a bottle of poison, may have raised questions regarding the security on campus, but Sopory said frisking all students as a security measure is not possible.

"The issue is much more complex than just security. We have adequate security in place. JNU is known for its liberal culture. We would not do anything to change that. The need of the hour is to have the problems of students reported.

"If we had known the problems the girl was facing, we would have had taken the steps needed to protect her," he said.

Describing the incident as an "isolated" case, Sopory said it has made the entire JNU community introspect.

"Such an incident is an eye-opener, but it will not hurt the soul of the university. I think JNU will retain its ethos as the character of the university remains unchanged.

"We are a premium university and that will definitely not take a beating," he said.

The university and its gender-sensitisation committee are
conducting a series of student-teacher meetings to discuss the issue and also plan to conduct several gender-sensitisation programmes to put a stop to crime against women students.

"The Gender Sensitisation Committee on Sexual Harassment will be organising a series of public meetings for students with some even involving specialists to address the problems faced by students," Prof Ayesha Kidwai, faculty representative in GSCASH, said.

The public meetings and counselling sessions of GSCASH starting from today will address student problems including harassment by former partners, tough break ups and other issues.

Meanwhile, JNU Students Union President V Lenin Kumar said the incident has shocked the student community.

"There is need for a massive sensitisation programme and proper counselling. It is not a time for blame game. We all need to take collective responsibility," he said.

Roshni, who was seriously injured after the attack, has been taken off the ventilator and is now on road to recovery.

The JNU student was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital in a critical condition following the incident.

Doctors have conducted two surgeries on her so far.

PTI

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