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800 Jindal law school students opt to head home in 40 vehicles in mammoth logistical operation

Students at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) Sonepat were expatriated home from campus on Sunday in a giant operation involving 20 buses and more than 20 cars, with 800 students opting to return home and 500 staying on campus following riots by the Jat community in Sonepat and other parts of Haryana.

“[Sunday] morning we had a meeting and decided that classes are suspended [until next week], and that students who want to leave, they can leave,” said JGLS dean Raj Kumar. “Naturally [many] parents felt it’s better for students to come home.”

The campus had battened down the hatches and beefed up security last week in light of the riots, as reported by Legally India, with the government’s rapid action force personnel having entered the campus on Saturday night to use as a centre for local counter-riot operations.

“The situation is getting very much better but this is just preventive measures,” said Kumar yesterday. “The idea is to just ensure that people should feel confident about everything.”

Today he told Legally India that the situation had mostly normalised.

The cost of the mass-transit were carried by the college, with student volunteers helping in the logistics.

Kumar said that the efforts of volunteer students that were coordinating the efforts were remarkable.

The below letter was sent by the administration to students and parents yesterday morning:

Greetings from the JGU Campus in Sonipat!

Pursuant to Professor Murthy’s email yesterday morning, at around 11 am we began the process of facilitating the safe and secure transfer of students who wished to leave the campus for their respective homes or homes of their family members. Many of them had booked their air tickets and were going to the Delhi airport.

It was a massive organizational effort, which led to nearly 20 buses and an equal number of cars for ensuring a safe passage to Delhi for the students. Although, the situation became slightly better yesterday morning for a short while, we quickly realized that it was a temporary situation and there was violence reported in Beeswamil. Things became tense and uncertain in the National Highway leading to a feeling of insecurity there and in the route to Delhi through the NH

I am pleased to report to you that due to an extraordinary effort that was mounted with the help of a number of actors, over 800 students of JGU were dropped in Delhi all through the day. This was clearly a massive effort as the buses, their drivers and even the bus company were not willing to run these buses during these difficult times. There was a genuine threat of violence and fear of security that needed to be addressed. We had to persuade the bus company as they were feeling insecure about this journey. We were also very conscious of the fact that the safety and security of the students of JGU is paramount. We wanted to ensure that we don’t leave any stone unturned to verify this aspect. Separate teams were constituted with our security staff going ahead of the buses and to check whether the route is safe and that there are no blockades in the route. Since the National Highway became inaccessible and there was continuing violence reported in Sonipat, we had to take additional precautions, while plying these buses. There were also some students who had some prior injury or disability and had to be taken by JGU cars and our ambulance with additional security cover and support system.

I am pleased to report to you that all our students who left the campus yesterday reached Delhi fine and would have now reached their respective families.

Nothing gives us more happiness and relief to know that our students are safe and secure. All through the day, we were busy with numerous types of engagements and coordination with multiple stakeholders - talking to the bus company, drivers, security staff, RAF personnel, district administration, including the DM and SP of Sonipat, state administration including the Home Secretary and of course, our own staff to coordinate various aspects of the movement of our students.

I have to confess that when we took this decision yesterday morning to let the students who wish to leave the campus do so, little did we know that this exercise would be so complex and difficult from the standpoint of logistics and security.

With all of this effort, we believe that there are around 500 students who have chosen to remain on campus out of the total of over 2100 JGU students. We are giving an option for the students who have chosen to remain on campus to decide this morning whether they would like to leave the campus for their homes.

We are here on campus and as informed earlier, we believe that the JGU campus continues to be a safe and secure place. But we do respect and appreciate the fact that students may wish to return back to their homes and come back to campus on 28th evening as classes will resume on 29th February.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and appreciate the extraordinary contribution of the student volunteers who assumed a leadership role in coordinating the efforts of registering each student who left the campus. All through the day, I had the privilege of watching our students do what they did best, which is to care for the other. Nothing gives us more pleasure as a teacher than to see our students demonstrating exemplary humanity caring for the other and serving with a sense of responsibility. Suddenly, I noticed a rare sense of humanity that is deeply embedded among our students which came to the forefront. In fact, it was truly remarkable that most of the student volunteers who were leading the coordination efforts of our students were themselves planning to stay on campus.

On a lighter vein, I can’t help but reflect about the fact that the female students of JGU reflected the most amazing level of maturity, sagacity and leadership - all through the day supporting the efforts of administration. Of course, there were also many male students who worked together as a team and it was a collective effort that was truly inspiring.

To the students of JGU, I am so proud of each one of you. Yesterday, you demonstrated to us that it is all worth it!

I am grateful to the extraordinary commitment and dedication of the administrative staff of JGU for their continuous and engaged leadership and support to these efforts to keep the interests of students and faculty as paramount.

Let me begin by thanking our Registrar, Professor Murthy whose self-effacing leadership and calming composure had ensured that everything was in order. He would have received over 500 calls from parents and he ensured that he took each one of those calls and returned back the calls to the parents who couldn’t reach him in the first place. Professor Murthy was continuously engaged with the coordination efforts with various levels of district and state administration. Several parents of JGU contributed to helping us in this effort. It is in these moments of crisis and uncertainty that the best of human spirit is visible and Prof Murthy led by example.

I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the contribution of our outstanding team of staff members - Professor Padmanabha Ramanujam, Joint Registrar; Mr. Jitu Mishra, Director of HR; Mrs. Surinder Kaur, Chief Warden and of course some amazing staff in our administration such as Mr. Sanjay Khurana, Mr. Gulab Singh Yadav and Mr. Rao. All of them not only contributed immensely to these efforts, but were continuously engaged with all concerned to ensure that our students were safe and secure. They worked with a passionate commitment and dedication that can only be witnessed among people who see their work primarily as a sense of responsibility and not just a source of employment. They went beyond the call of duty and that is rare in this day and age!

I would like to particularly acknowledge the contribution of Dean Gopinath of JGBS for being there and supporting our work all through the day.

I am particularly grateful to all our drivers and security staff for their willingness to undertake these trips to Delhi to provide safe passage to our students. They did this with no hesitation and a complete willingness to help.

In fact this morning, at around 5 am, we had ensured that another group of faculty members, students and staff left the campus for Delhi. This movement, probably will continue for some more time in the day as we would like to ensure that every student who wishes to leave the campus is helped and supported.

Last night, we had a security review meeting with the Commanding Officer of the RAF, Deputy SP as well as our own Campus Security led by Col Bedi. I am pleased to report that all aspects of the security situation on campus was reviewed and measures taken. The situation in the National Highway should become better, but complete normalcy in Sonipat may take a few more days.

I would like to particularly thank the parents of the students of JGU who stood with us completely trusting the institution in these rather difficult and uncertain times. I have always believed that JGU is an idea that has brought all of us together. It is during the most challenging of times that the power of an idea gets recognized and appreciated. We have seen such inspiring contributions of the students, staff, faculty and parents - all of whom are critical stakeholders of JGU

Disraeli once said, “There is no education like adversity.” All of us have learnt a lot in the last few days dealing with a great deal of adversity, but most of all, JGU became, for the first time in the last 6 years, since our founding, a genuine community, that cares for each other so deeply and fundamentally. This caring for the other mindset will shape our vision and aspiration of institution building for the future as we will not only overcome all obstacles and challenges that come our way, individually and collectively, but we will take upon ourselves to seek transformative change in our society.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the Change, you wish to see in the world” and my fervent hope is that every JGU person will be that change that they want to see in the world!

Thanks and best regards


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