The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Monday issued showcause notices to 21 students including Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) office-bearers Kanhaiya Kumar and Rama Naga, along with Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, for “violating the university’s rules and norms”.
However, the notice did not list the exact charges the students are expected to respond to.
Meanwhile, sources said that the university’s High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC), which had probed the February 9 event on campus and submitted its report to authorities last week, has recommended short-term rustication for Umar and Anirban.
Neither JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar nor Registrar Bupinder Zutshi responded to calls by The Indian Express on the issue.
The committee has also recommended imposing a fine on JNUSU joint-secretary and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) member Saurabh Sharma , said sources.
Sharma, however, said he had not received any notice.
Sources said the committee has also taken note of the “fact” that the slogans, during the event on February 9, were raised by outsiders and not JNU students.
An official communication by the university stated, “The high-level inquiry committee constituted by the vice-chancellor to enquire into the incident that took place on February 9, 2016, in JNU campus has submitted a unanimous report. As per the report, some students have been found to have violated the university’s rules and norms”.
The showcause notice, issued by the Chief Proctor, reached the students Monday night, said sources.
“As per the High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC) findings, you..have been found guilty on the following account under Clause 3, Category II of rules and discipline and proper conduct of students of JNU,” stated the showcause notice.
On what the students are allegedly guilty of, the notice said, “Any other act which may be considered by the VC or any other competent authority to be an act of violation of discipline and conduct… during the incident which took place on February 9 in the JNU campus.”
The university has asked students to send their replies by Wednesday evening. “You are hereby asked to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against you for indulging in the above act. Your reply must reach the Chief Proctor’s Office latest by March 16, 5 pm, failing which it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in your defence and this office will proceed further in this matter,” stated the notice.
One of the students, who got the showcause notice, said, “They want us to reply, explaining why we committed an act of indiscipline, but we haven’t even been told what exactly we did wrong… how do we respond? We haven’t even been told what action they are planning to take against us”.
Earlier in the day, the top brass of the university met the deans of schools and chairpersons of special centres in a Dean’s Committee meeting. However, the HLEC’s report was not put forward by the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar in the meeting, said sources.
“We were only told that some students have been found guilty of violating university rules and the Proctor’s Office would take action against them. Despite asking about the report and its findings, the administration refused to share it with us. We are still unsure what the point of the meeting was since our suggestions weren’t taken,” said one of the deans, who did not wish to be named.
The HLEC was formed on February 10, a day after an event to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru took place on the campus. “Anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised at this event.