NEW DELHI: The appellate authority which heard the appeals of the 21 JNU students who were penalised in connection with the controversial February 9 event has found all of them guilty of indiscipline but reduced the penalty imposed on two of them — student union leaders Saurabh Sharma of the ABVP and the AISA’s Ashutosh Kumar.
“We asked all the students who were involved in the incident to present their side of the story, now as the evidence suggested we have reduced the punishment of two students” said a top official source at the university. In the light of the recommendation of the high-level enquiry committee and subsequently the recommendation of the panel constituted to assist the appellate authority, the university on Monday said that the vice-chancellor had taken the final decision on the appeals made by the students.
JNU was at the centre of a controversy in February because of an event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. Three students, including JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, were arrested in a sedition case filed over the event and are now out on bail.
Twenty-one students were slapped with varied punishments ranging from rustication, hostel debarment to penalties on basis of the probe. The students had gone on an indefinite hunger strike, which lasted only for 16 days, against the decision. As the university refused to relent despite their failing health, some of them moved the High Court, which asked them to withdraw the strike. It stayed the action against the students till their appeals would be decided by the appellate authority.