The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday “immediately” suspended and withdrew hostel facilities of eight students for “disrupting” an Academic Council (AC) meeting held on Monday. Two former students have also been identified as being involved in the incident, by university officials who had on Monday told the Indian Express that the university would take action against those found involved in the “disruption” before “things go out of hand”.
“Eight current student and two former students have been immediately suspended from academic activities and their hostel facilities have been withdrawn. In the meantime, a proctorial enquiry has been instituted. The action will stand till the enquiry is finished. Proctorial notices have been dispatched for the same,” a senior university official told the Indian Express.
Sources said the action was taken on the basis of evidence which “clearly shows” students breaking open locks and entering the venue which is basically “physical violence”. “This action was taken on the basis of a report of the security department, and on the basis of their admission (in a poster) that they broke open the locks and entered the venue. The VC is duty bound, therefore, to take action,” the official said.
The university in a statement on Monday had said, “A group of unruly students broke open the latch of the meeting room after thumping the door, came inside and began to shout slogans at the Chairperson and the Academic Council members.”
However, it added that “The meeting at this time was already over and necessary decisions had been taken by the Academic Council.” A statement by 20 AC members also said, “After the Vice Chancellor got up to leave the meeting, a group of students entered the hall shouting slogans. This occurred after the Vice Chancellor was already near the exit.”
Students belonging from the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), Students’ Front for Swaraj (SFS) and United OBC Forum had on Monday protested at the meeting venue demanding that the AC reconvene its meeting which supposedly “adopted” the UGC gazette notification of May 2016 making interviews the sole criterion of admission. Students alleged this would lead to discrimination, and demanded that the viva-voce marks be reduced instead.
JNU had last suspended three students – Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Mujeeb Gattoo – for their involvement in the February 9 event on campus where alleged anti-India slogans were raised, and withdrawn hostel facilities of several other students. However, the decision was stayed by the High Court.