JNU warns teacher over address to students

Professor Nivedita Menon, from the Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Thoughts, has been issued the letter for addressing a public meeting on December 28

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Published:December 31, 2016 3:26 am
JNU student protests, JNU students, JNU administration, JNU, Jawaharlal Nehru University, indian express news JNU campus (File Photo)

After sending several notices threatening action against students for holding protests at the administrative block, the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration, for the first time on Friday, issued a letter to a professor for addressing students at the venue. The letter says violation of university rules would “attract disciplinary action” against her.

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Professor Nivedita Menon, from the Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Thoughts, has been issued the letter for  addressing a public meeting on December 28, where she allegedly spoke against the suspension of 10 students — two of whom JNU claims are “de-registered” — for “disrupting” an Academic Council meeting.

“You addressed a group of students on December 28 at about 4.15 pm near the steps of the administrative building. This is a clear violation of university rules. Posters calling for a protest public meeting at the building on December 30 mentioned your name. We request you not to violate the rules again. Violation … will attract disciplinary action,” read the letter signed by Registrar Pramod Kumar.

Menon, who addressed students again on Friday, along with other teachers, said, “I do not accept, as a teacher of JNU, that addressing our students on campus is against any rules. If this administration is so concerned about rules, it should consider with shame its own conducting of the Academic Council meeting that violated every formal procedure.

Neither I, nor any other teacher of JNU, will accept this attempt to curb our constitutional rights.”
JNU Teachers’ Association joint secretary Nupur Chowdhury said, “This is shameful and a violation of our Constitutional right. Menon addressed suspended students who have been allegedly protesting against the administration. This is her right as well as her responsibility as a teacher.”
34 AC members write to V-C

Thirty four Academic Council (AC) members of JNU have written to V-C Jagadesh Kumar, highlighting their objections to the manner in which the AC meeting was conducted on December 26, and demanding that the meeting be “reconvened as soon as possible”. “Items were deemed to have been passed without any discussion, which is not correct,” the letter said.