Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday constituted a ‘high-level’ inquiry committee against faculty members for violating university rules and to investigate their role in disruption of a recent Academic Council (AC) meeting.
The move comes days after the university sent a letter to Professor Nivedita Menon over “clear violation” of university rules following her address to some students at the administrative building and warned her of “disciplinary action”.
The Executive Council (EC) constituted a committee to look into the cases of violation of rules by certain faculty members.
The committee will also look at incidents of teachers addressing students after the disruption of AC meeting.
“As per university rules, any protest within 20 metres of the administrative and academic complex is prohibited. But some teachers have been addressing students at the spots. This is prima facie violation of rules,” sources said.
Recently, eight students were suspended pending inquiry for allegedly disrupting the AC meeting held on December 26.
Sources said the issue was raised by some EC members, who expressed concern over incidents of teachers violating rules.
“There is a video available of a faculty member addressing students and making sarcastic comments on university rules,” sources said. They have received at least one complaint against a faculty member by security officials.
Menon said she is not aware of any such move by the EC. After Menon received the letter, she and other faculty members have addressed students. On Tuesday too teachers and students held a protest at the administrative building.
JNU teachers’ association (JNUTA) president Ajay Patnaik said the move was an attempt to intimidate teachers and crush dissent.
“The administration wants to intimidate us and silence us. Teachers, students and karamcharis (workers) have been protesting at these spots ever since JNU came into existence. Nobody has ever faced an inquiry,” he said.
JNU had recently “prohibited” all protests near the administrative building, popularly known as “Freedom Square”. It said peaceful and democratic forms of protest can be done 20 metres away from the complexes.