JNU Punishes Pupils for 'Sedition'

Students’ union president Kanhaiya fined Rs 10,000; Anirban Bhattacharya, Umar Khalid rusticated for taking part in Afzal event

Published: 26th April 2016 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2016 06:59 AM   |  A+A-

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Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar | EPS

NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar on Monday was fined Rs 10,000 by the varsity’s high-level panel probing the controversial event organised on February 9 on campus where “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised.

The gravest punishment was, however, reserved for fellow PhD students Anirban Bhattacharya and Umar Khalid, who have been rusticated.

The students were served the order by Jawaharlal Nehru University’s chief proctor, A P Dimri, thus putting an end to months of speculation about the fate of the research scholars.

The high-level enquiry committee  has found the accused students involved in “arousing communal, caste or regional feelings and creating disharmony among students” and “providing misinformation to the university”.

While Umar Khalid has been rusticated for the monsoon semester, Anirban Bhattacharya has been rusticated till July 15 and ordered “out of bounds” of the campus, barred from pursuing any course at Jawaharlal Nehru University, for five years starting July 25.

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Further, 14 students have been financially penalised in connection to the February 9 event. Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union join secretary and sole Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parsihad member Saurabh Sharma has been fined Rs 10,000.

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Ashutosh was fined and debarred from the hostel for the next one year. Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were found guilty of triggering communal violence and disrupting communal harmony on campus.

Kanhaiya Kumar, Anirban Bhattacharya and Umar Khalid were arrested in February by the Delhi police in connection with the event organised on campus to protest the “judicial killings” of convicted terrorist Afzal Guru.

At the gathering, it is alleged that “anti-India” slogans were raised. The high-level enquiry committee, in its report, found that the event had no approval from the administration.

Reacting to the punishment, Umar wrote on Facebook, “A farce is what this inquiry has been from day one, made to witch-hunt and punish students by hook or crook. Do we need to remind you, Mr Jagdish Kumar (V-C) that unlike you the students and teachers of this campus are not pliant stooges of the RSS.”

JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora said, “We will launch a countrywide campaign to expose this government’s anti-student, anti-Dalit character.” “The V-C is taking directions from the Centre. He should have acted first as an academician and then as an RSS loyalist. Rakesh Bhatnagar, the head of the committee, is the treasurer of anti-reservationist Youth for Equality,” she added.

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