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JNU row: Varsity says no to adding new members to probe panel

JNU protests Updated: Feb 19, 2016 23:09 IST
JNU row

Demonstrators shout slogans as they hold placards during a protest demanding the release of Kanhaiya Kumar, in New Delhi.(REUTERS)

JNU on Friday ruled out any change in the composition of the high-level committee set up by it to inquire into the February 9 event on campus where anti- national slogans were allegedly raised, saying it has “full faith” in the three-member panel.

While a group of teachers had written to the varsity’s Vice Chancellor stating that the composition of the committee was unacceptable to them as its scope was “limited”, the students who were asked to appear before the panel have refused to participate in the inquiry citing “unjust” suspension of eight students.

“We have full faith in the committee constituted by us as it includes senior professors who will come up with a detailed and fair report. There is no question of adding more members or changing its composition,” said JNU VC M Jagadesh Kumar.

Asked what course the university would adopt if the students do not appear before the panel, he said “the students are given three chances to appear before the disciplinary committee. However, on being issued notices twice, they have failed to do so.”

“If they do not respond to the third notice as well, the committee will finalise its recommendations on the basis of the evidence, eyewitness accounts, students’ deposition (if any) and material available on hand, by February 25.”

While the students raised the issue of the probe panel -- which has three professors from the same department -- being in “violation” of university statutes and ordinances, the varsity administration maintained that the “VC had the authority to institute the inquiry”.

The JNU administration had instituted a “disciplinary” inquiry as to how the event on February 9 against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru took place despite the withdrawal of permission for the same.

On the basis of a preliminary report by the panel, the varsity had debarred eight students from academic activity while allowing them to stay as guests in hostels till the inquiry proceedings were over.

JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar is in judicial custody in a sedition case in connection with the event.

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