In a decision which could draw fresh battle lines between the administration and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), varsity officials announced rustication of Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and a Kashmiri student named Mujeeb Gattoo, in connection with the event organised to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru. The decision was made by the high-level internal enquiry committee (HLEC), constituted to probe the February 9 incident where allegedly ‘anti-national’ slogans were raised during the event organised inside the campus. The HLEC has further said that the event organised by JNU students aroused communal and caste feelings.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar who was also charged with sedition and arrested along with Anirban and Umar in connection with the incident has however, not been rusticated. The university authorities have imposed a fine of rupees Rs 10,000 on him.
ALSO READ JNUSU rejects the punishment, says Kanhaiya Kumar after being slapped a fine by varsity”The committee has recommended rustication/fine for three students, withdrawal of hostel facilities/financial penalty for two students and only financial penalty for 14 students. Two former JNU students, moreover, have been declared out of bounds,” an official statement from the university read. According to HLEC, both Anirban and Umar have been found guilty of giving an undertaking in false pretext to hold the event named “Poetry Reading- A country without a post office”, for misinforming university officials, putting objectionable posters, being part of a procession where ‘objectionable slogans were raised’ and addressing the same procession at the Sabarmati ground.While Umar has been rusticated for one semester and a fine of Rs 20,000 imposed on him, Anirban has been declared out of bounds from the campus for five years after July 23, 2016. He has been rusticated till the period of July 15.Mujeeb Guttoo was found shouting objectionable slogans on February 9 by the varsity’s High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC) report and has also been rusticated by the administration for two semesters.Other students named by the HLEC, including JNUSU general secretary Rama Naga and ex-JNU president Ashutosh Kumar, who were also accused of sedition by Delhi police, were asked to pay a fine of Rs 20,000. A total of 14 students have been fined. Two ex-students Banojyotsna Lahiri and Draupadi Gosh have been made out of bounds from campus for five years. ABVP leader Saurabh Sharma, who had complained against Kanhaiya and other students has also been slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000.As soon as the announcement was made, a scathing response was launched by both the students’ body and teachers association, who have from the beginning questioned the eligibility of the HLEC itself. The committee became a target of the JNU teachers association for not including members belonging to the SC/ST community and also for its decision to suspend eight JNU students ‘arbitrarily’ and without conducting any enquiry. “The HLEC had suspended students based on statements by students belonging to ABVP. Isn’t this telling quite a bit about the way HLEC conducted its so-called enquiry?” a senior professor said. Later in the evening, a resolution regarding HLEC was passed in the JNU University General Body Meeting (UGBM). “This house rejects the HLEC formed by the JNU administration to look into the 9 February incident. The Constitution of the Committee is undemocratic and biased. Bypassing the Proctorial board and other democratic institutions, the Committee had handpicked anti-student members, most notably the head of the Committee who is in-charge of raising funds for the anti-reservation Youth for Equality. The committee had token additions to it, but no fresh enquiry was conducted. This house mandates the JNUSU to reject the HLEC and oppose any action against students based on the HLEC,” read the text by UGBM.While it remains to be seen whether the punishments meted out at the JNU students would be implemented, sources in the camps opposing administration told dna that the option of taking the administration to court would be considered. Reacting to the development, both Umar and Anirban, evoked Rohith Vemula, the Dalit research scholar who committed suicide in Hyderabad University last year.
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