JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been on an hunger strike for the last eight days, was hospitalised in a “semi-conscious” state at the university health centre Thursday, before being taken to AIIMS for medical tests. Kumar and some other students have been on strike to protest the punishment meted out to them by the university over their alleged involvement in the February 9 incident, when “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised.
While 19 students had gone on strike last Thursday, four of them ended their fast after their health deteriorated.
“Kanhaiya’s BP dropped to 80/56 and his glucose levels also reduced drastically. He has been vomiting since the last 2-3 days. He was taken to the health centre in a semi-conscious state and the doctor warned us that… there are chances of internal bleeding,” said Jayant, a member of the All India Students’ Federation (AISF).
Another AISF member said, “Kanhaiya’s condition has been worsening… he has severe body ache and he wasn’t able to move. Since Wednesday, he hasn’t been able to consume water and could barely open his eyes”.
“He was referred to AIIMS for further tests to make sure there is no internal damage, since he complained of severe abdominal pain,” she added.
JNUSU general secretary Rama Naga, one of the students on strike, said the health condition of other students was deteriorating as well. “…Their blood sugar levels and blood pressure is dropping,” he said.
AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta said, “Kanhaiya has been brought to the emergency department and is being treated for mild dehydration and ketosis… his condition is stable.” He will be kept under observation overnight in the hospital, said doctors.
Meanwhile, in Rajya Sabha, CPI leader D Raja urged HRD Minister Smriti Irani to “advise” the university against such disciplinary action.