Education

JNU Rusticates Umar Khalid, Two others, Fines Kanhaiya Rs 10,000

New Delhi: Jawharlal Nehru University on Monday rusticated Umar Khalid and two other students for varying durations and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with the February 9 campus event against Afzal Guru’s hanging.

Umar was rusticated for one semester, another student leader Anirban Bhattacharya till July 15 and Mujeeb Gattoo for two semesters. As per the university’s decision, Bhattacharya has been barred from pursuing any course in JNU for the next 5 years.

JNU students union president Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban were arrested on charges of sedition in February in connection with the controversial event and are out on bail. Their arrest had triggered widespread protests.

The campus has been made out of bounds for two former students – Banojyotsana Lahiri and Draupadi – while hostel facilities have been withdrawn for Ashutosh Kumar for a year and Komal Mohite till July 21.

A high-level committee constituted by the university to probe the February 9 event found ABVP member Saurabh Sharma, who had objected to the event, “guilty” of blocking traffic on the day of the event, and penalised him with Rs 20,000.

Surprisingly, Aishwarya Adhikari, whose name was not mentioned in the report, has also been imposed the same penalty.

“Based on the report of the high-level committee which arrived at its conclusion based on depositions, perusal of video clips (provided by JNU security and authenticated by forensic tests), and examination of documents on record, the university has decided to rusticate three students,” a senior university official told PTI.

“While Anirban Bhattacharya has been rusticated till 15 July, he will not be able to pursue any course or participate in any activity on campus for next five years, Umar Khalid has been rusticated for one semester and Mujeeb Gattoo for two semesters,” the official said.

He said financial penalty has been imposed on 14 students including Kanhaiya.

While Umar and Anirban were found guilty of disrupting harmony on campus, Mujeeb was found guilty of participating in the sloganeering.

The report of the five-member panel had also pointed out lapses on the part of the administration and taken into account the role of outsiders in the event. However, no action has been taken against any administrative official.

“As per the committee’s findings, application for holding this event ‘circumvented’ the ‘permission process’ and ‘the organisers disobeyed the instructions from the administration’ not to hold it and that amounted to ‘wilful defiance’,” the JNU official said.

He said disciplinary measures have been taken for not following university procedures, providing misinformation to the university, misconduct and indiscipline, causing and colluding in the unauthorised entry of any person into the campus, putting up objectionable posters, arousing communal, caste or regional feelings and creating disharmony, blockade or forceful prevention of any normal movement of traffic and violation of security, safety rules notified by the university.

Based on the preliminary report of the committee, the university had suspended eight students, however, their suspension was revoked when the panel had submitted it report on March 11.