Students of JNU, who have been served show cause notices by the university based on the recommendations of an internal inquiry panel, have alleged the charges against them lack clarity and said the committee was formed only to punish them.
Based on the inquiry committee’s inputs, the university issued show cause notices to 21 students for indiscipline on Monday over a February 9 event on the campus where anti-national slogans were allegedly shouted. The panel recommended punishment ranging from a fine to rustication for up to two semesters, sources said.
The panel has also recommended the rustication of five students, including JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.
Sources close to Kumar said he has not received any communication about his recommended rustication. “We are only hearing it from the media. We have not yet received any information on this,” a source said.
The students had earlier refused to depose before the committee.
“If an inquiry was conducted then it must have decided what the allegations are against us and what have we been found guilty of. A show cause notice not only specifies the charges against you but also punishment being given. This notice mentions nothing,” Anant Prakash Narayan, one of the 21 students who has received the notice, told HT.
“To what allegation do we send our explanation? This committee was only formed to punish us. We do not believe in this committee. And maybe we will reply to the proctor stating that,” Narayan added.
Rama Naga, JNUSU general secretary, said the notice is vague and they will take a collective decision on whether to send a reply.
“The notice has no clarity. There has to be some specific allegation but it has nothing. How do we explain our side? After today’s march demanding release of Umar and Anirban, we will take a decision on what to do about it and how best to reply,” he said.
A student, who also received the notice, said it only says, “…been found guilty on the following account under the Clause 3, Category II of Rules and discipline and proper conduct of students of JNU.”
“(xxv) any other act which may be considered by the VC or any other competent authority to be an act of violation of discipline and conduct,” the notice said.
Another student also said the notice is vague and does not specify what she has been found guilty of.
“My notice, as well some other notices, do not specify the allegation against us. How can we respond when we do not know what exactly are we guilty of except for that we have violated rules and discipline and conduct of JNU students,” the student, who did not wish to be named, said.