Teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University and the students’ union Monday challenged Registrar Bupinder Zutshi’s claims that he held a meeting with JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, general secretary Rama Naga and joint-secretary Saurabh Sharma on February 9, during which the Afzal Guru event was also discussed.
Zutshi had made the claims in his deposition before the high-level inquiry committee. It was leaked. While the JNUSU denied any such meeting was held, some teachers also contested Zutshi’s claims about other statements in his deposition.
Confirming the deposition, Zutshi Monday released a statement saying, “JNU clarifies that Registrar had a meeting with the following JNUSU representatives… Kanhaiya Kumar, Rama Naga and Saurabh Sharma. The meeting was held on February 9 in the Registrar’s office at 3 pm.”
However, Naga said, “I did not meet Kanhaiya from 9 am to 6 pm that day, so the question of a meeting does not arise.”
JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora also released a statement. “On behalf of the JNUSU, we want to condemn the false statements by JNU Registrar. I’ve checked with office-bearers. There was no such meeting between the Registrar with the JNUSU president and general secretary.” While Kanhaiya himself did not comment on the matter, sources close to him corroborated Naga’s statement and said he did not attend any meeting, and that, he was in fact, sleeping in his hostel room at the time.
“It is not possible for Kanhaiya to be at a meeting at the administrative block at 3 pm that day. I met him at the hostel (Old Brahmaputra) around lunch time and asked him if he was going to eat. He told me he was feeling feverish and was going to sleep,” said Rakesh, Kanhaiya’s hostel mate.
He added, “I met him again around 5 pm when he had just woken up. He was going to eat something at the dhaba when people started calling him. He told me that some scuffle had occurred at Sabarmati Dhaba and asked me to drop him there on my bike at about 5.30 pm.”
Zutshi, in his deposition, had also given in writing the mobile number from which Kanhaiya had called him around 4.32 pm, asking why permission for the event had been cancelled.
JNUSU joint-secretary Saurabh Sharma, however, narrated the same sequence of events as Zutshi. While Sharma claimed he had met the vice chancellor before meeting them, Zutshi also said he met the VC, Chief Proctor and DSW at his office at about 4.15 pm.
However, teachers claimed both Sharma and Zutshi’s claims were false. “The DSW and Chief Proctor cannot be in the VC chamber at 4.15 pm as they were with the wardens at the convention centre… The VC left after that but the DSW and Chief Proctor remained there for some more time,” said a teacher.
Teachers also questioned why Zutshi did not mention, in his deposition, the letter written to police by the chief security officer, and the police situation report of the day, where they say they had informed the administration about the event’s posters.