JNU students go on strike
Ragging fallout Freshers join hunger strike; authorities say won’t succumb to ‘pressure tactics’, reports HT Correspondent.delhi Updated: Aug 24, 2009 23:10 IST
Voices of dissent against Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) recent decision of rusticating and expelling senior students found guilty of ragging are growing louder each day.
Unhappy with the rustication of nine senior students from the varsity for two years, 11 Masters of Computer Application (MCA) students went on a hunger strike late Monday in a bid to put pressure on the administration to change its stance.
Five out of the 11 on hunger strike are those who have been “declared out of bounds” for two years. Interestingly, a fresher, who was allegedly being ragged when the anti-ragging squad walked into a room of Sabarmati hostel, has also joined them.
That apart, students of the MCA department have managed to garner support of as many as 1,200 students on campus in their favour.
The 1,200 students have signed a petition submitted to the JNU authority asking it to reconsider the “harsh” punishment meted out to the senior students.
Last week, JNU had rusticated nine students for two years and expelled 10 from the hostel for a year after an inquiry committee found them guilty of ragging.
The disclosure of ragging at the campus last week was due to a surprise check by the anti-ragging squad, which was tipped off by an MCA fresher, Balbir Chand.
Three of the four freshers, who were allegedly being ragged when the anti-ragging squad walked into a room of Sabarmati hostel, are part of this campaign.
“We have repeatedly told the university administration that we were just there to discuss an upcoming seminar. We have also given this to them in writing but they were hell bent on punishing the seniors,” said Sneh Srivastav, a first year MCA student.
The administration, it seems, will not give into the “pressure tactics”.
“We have taken the decision to rusticate and expel students on the basis of circumstantial evidence. The body language of the junior students when the anti-ragging squad walked in has given the administration strong reason to believe that the freshers had either been ragged or were going to be ragged,” said Chief Proctor H.C. Bohidar.
“The three freshers who are supporting the senior students, it seems, are doing this under pressure. Moreover, even if they want us to reconsider the
decision there is a proper way to do that. A hunger strike is not the answer and will not be received well by us,” Bohidar added.