Khalid, Anirban’s rustication not justified; say JNU teachers, students

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2016 08:29 IST
JNU students Umar Khalid (centre) and Anirban Bhattacharya (right), who are facing charges of sedition, have been rusticated by the university administration. (PTI File Photo)

Jawaharlal Nehru University students and teachers criticised the high-level inquiry committee’s findings and said the rustication of three students over the February 9 incident was against natural justice.

Students called an all-party meeting on Monday night to discuss the future course of action. Teachers too held a meeting.

“The punishments are not justified. Students, teachers and prominent personalities have said there are many loopholes in the procedure in which inquiry was done. Students were not even shown the evidence against them. This is against natural justice,” said Ajay Patnaik, JNU teachers’ association (JNUTA) president.

He said teachers will meet university vice-chancellor M Jagdeesh Kumar on Tuesday.

Based on the committee’s recommendations, JNU administration rusticated Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Mujeeb Gattoo. Additionally, the campus is out of bounds for Bhattacharya for five years. JNU slapped a fine on 14 students. JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was fined Rs 10,000.

“There is no co-relation between the punishment awarded and the student’s crime. Students have been let off with fines and only some have been rusticated. I am being wrongly punished for acting as a whistle-blower. It was my moral duty to oppose such activities but now I have been fined,” said JNUSU joint secretary and ABVP member Saurabh Sharma.

JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid also dismissed the panel’s findings.“We reject this farcical enquiry report, as it is based on sheer vendetta and a biased enquiry. The students are all dedicated activists. This is a conspiracy to crush anti-Modi voices. We will also challenge this sham of a report,” she said. The union also called for an emergency meeting.

“What I am unable to understand is the quantum of punishment given to Anirban? We will have to find out how the punishment has been decided for the students,” said Abhishek, a PhD student at the Centre for International Studies.

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