Six JNU students fined and issued hostel transfer

The students allege that they have been punished for seeking justice for Najeeb

WrittenBy:Sahla Nechiyil
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Showing the sign of another potential turmoil, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration identified six students guilty of the ‘unlawful confinement’ of the Vice-Chancellor (VC) and other top officials during a protest on October 2016, which was held seeking justice for the missing student Najeeb Ahmad. As a punishment, the administration has imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 each and ordered the transfer of hostels.

The punishment meted out to the office-bearers of the students’ body- Mohit Pandey (JNUSU President), Amal Pullarakkat (JNUSU Vice-President),  Satarupa Chakroborty (JNUSU General Secretary), Tabrez Hasan (JNUSU Joint Secretary), Students’ Federation of India (SFI) activist G Suresh, and Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students’ Organisation (BASO) activist Umar Khalid.

On October 19, four days after the JNU student Najeeb Ahmad went missing, around 500-600 students gathered at the JNU administration block around 2 pm. The students raised two demands- 1. The JNU administration should file a formal missing persons complaint with the Delhi Police about Ahmad. 2. The mobility of Najeeb’s assaulters on campus should be restricted. Despite the repeated plea by students, the VC refused either to come out or to talk to student representatives. As the protest continued for next day, on October 20, VC used the security force and flew from the place.

Soon after this incident, an enquiry committee was set up by the VC in order to probe the ‘unlawful confinement’ of him and other top officials.

On Friday, almost seven months since the incident took place, an email was sent to  students as they were found guilty of ‘unlawful confinement’ of VC and top officials (Campus Politik has accessed the email). “When the enquiry committee itself agree that there were around 600 students, how can they pick up and punish six students?- that too for something that has never happened? Asks G Suresh.

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The order has, however, created a furore among the students. Unhappy with the order, the students questioned the intention behind it. “The VC’s punishments against us are atrocious and they will be fought back. From day one of Najeeb’s disappearance, the actions of the VC left no doubt as to where and with whom he stood. These punishments are just another confirmation of the same,” Umar Khalid told Campus Politik.

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The students even raised questions regarding the ‘biased nature’ of enquiry committee. “The committee was set up to probe the ‘unlawful confinement’- that way they had already decided that there was unlawful confinement and the procedures that followed were merely a drama,” said Satarupa.

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The email also maintains that the academic process of these students are blocked and no academic documents would be issued until the compliance of punishment. The students are directed to deposit the fine by June 16. While the notice says that the transfer order has to be followed with immediate effect, the university is yet to allocate the students alternate accommodation. Meanwhile, the students are yet to decide how to respond to the order.

Campus Politik contacted Chief Proctor Vibha Tandon, the head of the enquiry committee for clarifications on how the punishments were decided. But, Tandon simply said “ I don’t want to comment anything on this. Whatever the students and media say, I don’t care and not interested,”. And she declined to respond further.


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