Left parties on Tuesday raised in Rajya Sabha the issue of rustication of three Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, including Anirban Bhattacharya and Umar Khalid, and the fine imposed on JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar. They termed the action as vindictive and vengeful.
Raising the issue, CPM’s Tapan Kumar Sen described the move as “another most arrogant, anti-democratic act being indulged in and patronised by the government”.
“The attack that has been unleashed on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University by rusticating them and debarring many of them for five years, and thereby taking a vindictive and vengeful action against their entire educational career, is made in a very unjust manner. And, this is a part of this government’s project of trampling the Constitutional rights of the citizens,” Sen said.
CPI leader D Raja said, “This House cannot be a mute spectator when such things are happening in JNU under our very nose.”
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien expunged certain remarks by Raja against the university. “Universities are autonomous bodies,” Kurien said, adding that since the university’s representatives were not present to defend themselves, such harsh words should not be used. To this, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, “JNU was established by an Act passed by us. Whatever has happened in the university is our responsibility because we passed that Act. Therefore, it is completely under our jurisdiction to discuss this.”
The Left parties found support from the Congress on the issue, with Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad saying, “We totally support whatever our colleagues have said.” Anand Sharma of Congress added: “We are worried how the atmosphere in one after the other university is being vitiated.”
The Chair, however, could not give a ruling on the notice, as Congress members disrupted proceedings over Article 356 being used to dismiss their party’s government in Uttarakhand, leading to adjournment of the House.