Eight Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students have been suspended with immediate effect for “disrupting” an academic council meeting held on Monday.
Sources said there is “sufficient” evidence to suspend the students from academic activities and withdraw their hostel facilities. The suspension will continue till a committee, set up on Tuesday to investigate the matter, submits its findings.
The academic council on Monday approved a University Grants Commission notification making entrance test for PhD and MPhil as only “qualifying” criterion, amid protests from teachers and students.
The new system makes interview the only basis for preparing merit list for admission. Students allege that the new move will lead to discrimination.
The university had claimed that some protesting students entered the meeting hall after “a handful of faculty members” called them inside.
“There is sufficient evidence in form of the statement by the security guards, who tried to stop the students. The students got into a scuffle with them and broke the latch to enter. The broken latch is a proof. Also, the students in their own posters are claiming they did it,” said an official, on condition of anonymity.
The official said that while eight students have been suspended, another two former students have also been identified as being involved in the incident.
Some of the suspended students belong to the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) and the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).
The university had claimed that, “a group of unruly students broke open the latch of the meeting room after thumping the door, came inside and began to shout slogans at the Chairperson and the Academic Council members.”
The statement said the meeting was already over by that time and necessary decisions had been taken by the academic council.
The Jawaharla Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) had refuted the allegation and said that a “small section of students” had given a “unilateral call” for protest outside the academic council meeting and they entered the hall when the meeting was already over.
The JNUSU said the university was contradicting its statement from Monday in which it said the vice-chancellor had declared all the agendas passed when the students entered.
“If the academic council meeting was already over, as the university itself has stated, then how can it allege that the students caused disruption?” the students’ union said.