JNU probe panel for rustication of Kanhaiya, 4 others

15 Mar 2016


A high-level committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru University has recommended the rustication of JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, union members Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya and two other students for their role in a controversial event last month at which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

A decision on the recommendation by the panel will be taken by vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and chief proctor A Dimri after a thorough scrutiny of the suggestions.

A meeting of the university's top management chaired by the vice chancellor on Monday discussed the report following which the varsity issued show-cause notice to 21 students including Kanhaiya and Umar, who were found guilty of having violated university rules and disciplinary norms.

The committee was formed on 10 February to probe the event organised to protest hanging of Afzal Guru, the Parliament attack convict. Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban were arrested on charges of sedition in connection with the programme. Kanhaiya was released on bail from Tihar Jail on 3 March while Umar and Anirban are still in judicial custody.

"The high-level committee has recommended rustication of five students after its investigation over a month's time. However, the final call in this regard will be taken by the Vice Chancellor and Proctor's office," sources told PTI.

The university had on 11 March revoked the academic suspension of eight students including Kanhaiya after completion of the probe by the five-member panel. It was decided to keep them under suspension from academic activities till the inquiry was over. However, they were allowed to stay in the hostels.

The panel, which was granted three extensions before it finally submitted its report, also faced difficulties in the probe as students refused to depose before it demanding that the enquiry committee be constituted afresh.

The university, however, turned down the demand and maintained that the students will be given three chances to appear before the disciplinary committee, and if they fail to do so, the committee will finalise its recommendations on the basis of evidence available, eyewitness accounts, students' deposition, if any, and other material available on hand.

Sources said those issued show-cause notices include the eight students who were debarred earlier in connection with the case and ten others about whom police had sought information from the university.

Besides Kanhaiya, the eight suspended students include Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh, Rama Naga, Anant Kumar, Shweta Raj and Aishwarya Adhikari.

The committee has faced a series of hiccups since its constitution. While the varsity's proctorial committee was first given the task to probe the issue, a day later it was replaced by a high-level committee.

The committee initially had three members but under pressure from teachers and students for broad-basing it, the university had added two more members to the panel.

"There are standard provisions in the university rules to take action in such cases. The high-level inquiry committee's recommendations are based on the rules of discipline and proper conduct of JNU.

"On the basis of the responses from the students, a final decision in this regard will be taken," a varsity official said.

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