High court asks Kanhaiya to help end JNU students’ hunger strike

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 13, 2016 22:56 IST
NUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar with Umar Khalid and other students in the JNU campus in New Delhi on April 27, 2016. (PTI)

The Delhi high court on Friday asked JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar to “articulate” it to campus protesters that it will hear their petitions challenging disciplinary action against them only if they end their hunger strike.

“You (Kanhaiya) can articulate to the students sitting on hunger strike from past 16 days to end the agitation, allowing the university to function properly,” said justice Manmohan, who uses just one name.

“They (JNU students) will have to end their agitations/ strike. You will have to withdraw the strike immediately. No one should be on hunger strike,” said the court as it sought an undertaking from Kanhaiya that he will allow the university to function properly and there will be no agitation.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University in April fined Kumar, president of the students’ union, Rs 10,000 for a campus event to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhhatacharya were suspended from the campus for the event during which police allege protesters shouted anti-national slogans.

The court asked senior lawyer Rebecca John, who represented Kanhaiya, to ask him to speak to the students to end their strike.

“You (Kanhaiya) are a ranger and if you speak to the students, they will abide by you and will end their strike. You withdraw this agitation as you can do it,” the court said, adding, “if you abide by our directions only then I will hear the petitions before me.”

“Have faith in judiciary. You will have to give an undertaking that you are going to end the strike and allow the college to function properly. You have to ensure that there is no agitation.”

The counsel present in court on behalf of JNUSU president and others said they will cordinate with the students and will get back to the court.

The court has adjourned the matter till further communication is received from the students’ leader.

The court gave the directions during hearing of pleas by Kanhaiya and others challenging the university’s disciplinary action.

Apart from Kanhaiya, Ashwati A Nair, Aishwariya Adhikari, Komal Mohite, Chintu Kumari, Anwesha Chakraborty and two others had challenged the JNU’s punishment against them.

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