Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has slapped fines ranging between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000 on four students for cooking and eating biryani near the Administrative Block in June. The university said this constitutes ‘indiscipline’. Office orders issued by the Chief Proctor, Kaushal Kumar, dated November 8, states that they have been punished under the clause: “any other act which may be considered by the Vice-Chancellor or any other competent authority to be an act of violation of discipline and conduct by the JNU statutes”.
“In the proctorial enquiry you have been found guilty of being involved in cooking food (biryani) near the stairs in front of the Administrative Building and eating it thereafter along with other students… This act is serious in nature, unbecoming of a student of JNU and calls for strict disciplinary action,” the order read.
While three students — Chepal Sherpa, Amir Malik and Manish Kumar — have been fined Rs 6,000 each, former JNU Students’ Union general secretary Satarupa Chakraborty has been fined Rs 10,000. She was also punished under another clause for “leading the protest demonstration along with slogan shouting against Vice-Chancellor, administration and Professor Atul Johri, and sitting inside the V-C’s office… even after repeated requests from CSO (Chief Security Officer) and security personnel”.
The students have been given 10 days to pay the fine and “warned to be careful and not to get involved in such incidents in future”, failing which “more stringent disciplinary action” would be taken against them. The JNU Chief Proctor did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.
Earlier, the JNU administration as well as the Delhi High Court had banned protests within 100 metres of the Administrative Block.
Commenting on the punishment meted out to her, Chakraborty said, “Does a university proctor office run to monitor who cooks and eats biryani in a residential campus like JNU, where such activities are a well-cherished practice, part of the culture and help build a community bond among students coming from all across the country?” JNU student Umar Khalid, who has also faced several enquiries by the administration, called it a “witch-hunt”. “Just a day after V-C Appa Rao suspended 10 students in HCU, his counterpart JNU V-C punishes students in JNU… Each of these students are vocal and active in the student movement,” he said.
The incident pertains to June 27, when the then JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and Chakraborty had gone to the V-C office to raise students’ issues. However, after the V-C allegedly did not meet them, they camped outside the Administrative Block overnight and made biryani.
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