JNU administration on Wednesday ordered a “disciplinary” enquiry into holding of an event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru despite cancellation of permission saying any talk about country’s disintegration cannot be “national”.
The university’s move came in wake of protests by members of ABVP outside the VC office demanding expulsion of students who “misled” the university about nature of the event.
Maintaining that the act by students amounted to “indiscipline”, the university authorities said the committee headed by the Chief Proctor of JNU will investigate the matter and come up with its report.
“The permission for the programme was sought by giving incomplete information, so it is an act of indiscipline. A committee headed by the Chief Proctor will examine the footage of the event and speak to the witnesses. It is on basis of the report, the varsity will take appropriate action,” JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagdeesh Kumar said.
Briefing about the “incomplete information”, the varsity Registrar Bhupinder Zutshi said, “There was nowhere mentioned in the permission request that the event will be on Afzal Guru, they just said that they wanted to organise a cultural event. How can any talk about disintegration of nation be national?”
The student organisers of the event had pasted posters across the campus inviting them to gather for a protest march against “judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt” and in solidarity with “struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self determination” at varsity’s Sabarmati dhaba on Tuesday.
Members of the ABVP objected to the event and wrote to the Vice-Chancellor that such kind of marches should not be held on campus of an educational institution, prompting the university administration to order cancellation of the march as they “feared” that it might “disrupt” peace on campus.
But the organisers went ahead with the programme despite the cancellation of the permission and held a cultural programme, art and photo exhibition on the issue rather than a protest.
Agitated over the issue, ABVP members gathered outside VC office and shouted slogans demanding expulsion of the students who contributed to the “anti-national” activity.
JNU students’ union joint secretary Saurabh Kumar, who is the only ABVP member in the union, said, “How can an event on Afzal Guru, who attacked the temple of democracy, be held here? We are demanding expulsion of those who organised it”.
“This was an anti-national event. When we tried to stop them from holding a march, I was shown a gun. They raised anti-India slogans and for freedom of Kashmir,” he alleged.
However, this is not the first time that JNU students have organised an event on death anniversary of Afzal Guru.
The varsity registrar said, “if once a ‘wrong’ thing has happened it does not mean it has to happen again and again. We had denied the permission earlier too and those who were found “defying instructions” by the probe committee were penalised.”
The decision of ordering an enquiry was taken by the VC after he met the agitating students.
“The VC has told us that an enquiry has been ordered and based on the report action will be taken. But we will approach the HRD ministry as well as the Home Ministry demanding that the students who contributed to this “anti-national” activity be expelled,” said Alok Singh, President of ABVP’s JNU unit.
The organizers alleged ABVP terms everything controversial and against their own ideology as anti-national.
“This is a set pattern where we get permission but then ABVP comes right on the day of programme and administration cancels it last moment. Even screening of movies on controversial issues are considered anti-national.
“This is replication of what happened in Hyderabad University where ABVP’s actions forced Rohit to commit suicide,” said Anirban Bhattacharya, one of the organizers.
Meanwhile, police officials said that a complaint in this regard has been received from the agitating students and the matter is being looked into.