JNU probe panel says masked outsiders shouted provocative slogans

  • Heena Kausar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 16, 2016 08:07 IST
JNU teachers protest against arrest of JNUSU leaders at the university campus. (HT File Photo)

A JNU panel confirmed outsiders were present during an event commemorating Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on campus, but it was unclear on Tuesday whether students arrested on charges of sedition, such as Kanhaiya Kumar, could be temporarily expelled.

Show-cause notices served to Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and 18 other students do not mention rustication. Sources said the panel advised the punishment for Khalid and Anirban, but remained noncommittal on Kumar, the president of the university’s students union.

Authorities say anti-India slogans were shouted at the February 9 programme, which led to a police crackdown at the institute days later and sparked a debate on free speech.

The university teachers’ association denied the reports of rustication.

Read | JNU row: Internal inquiry finds Umar, Anirban guilty on four counts

The JNU incident sparked political bitterness over the police’s and government’s handling of the crisis that opposition leaders called an attempt to muzzle free speech.

According to the findings, the presence of masked outsiders was noted by security staff and confirmed by witnesses. HT has a copy of the report, which also says a JNU student was seen with this group.

“It is most unfortunate that the organisers allowed the event to be taken over by a group of outsiders who created a charged atmosphere by raising provocative slogans,” said the panel.

Read | Umar, Anirban file bail application, HC rejects plea against Kanhaiya

The committee found Khalid and Bhattacharya— who are in judicial custody— guilty of at least four charges, including furnishing false certificates and information to the university. Kumar is out on bail.

Sources said all the students have been given time till Wednesday evening to respond to the show-cause notices following which a final decision will be taken.

The report reconstructed the incident and sequence of events based on depositions, study of video clips and examination of documents on record. It said none of the students union representatives acted responsibly.

Read | JNU asks prof to clear air about remarks against Dalits, Muslims

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