Exclusive: Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban on JNU Committee Report

Across the board, there is nothing but anger for the HLEC’s decisions on the JNU campus.

2 min read

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) has announced that it rejects the report submitted by the High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC) that was constituted to look into an event held on February 9 during which antinational slogans were allegedly heard. The committee slapped fines on several students and rustication orders on Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya. Saurabh Sharma of the ABVP has also been fined Rs 10,000.

JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, during a press conference, attacked the composition of the HLEC, calling it undemocratic. The timing of the release of the orders despite the report having been filed a month and a half ago was called into question. It is currently examination season on the JNU campus.

Kanhaiya added that after a protest march on campus tomorrow, students will go on a mass indefinite hunger strike against the HLEC report. The number of those participating in this strike will be announced just before it begins.

After the press conference, a protest demonstration was held by the JNUSU as well as the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) where they burned copies of the report. Both Umar and Anirban face rustication. While the first has been rusticated for a semester and slapped with a fine of Rs 20,000, the latter faces rustication till 15 July and from 25 July will be out of bounds from the JNU campus for five years. They both insist that their guilt was decided even while they were still in jail and were, thus, unable to depose in front of the committee. How, they ask, can a judgement be taken on their actions without giving them a chance to tell their side of the story?

Saurabh Sharma, joint secretary of the JNUSU and ABVP leader, has also been fined Rs 10,000. The question of why he has been fined has been asked by both his party as well as the other political parties. While he insists that fining him for speaking out against an issue that he is strongly against, i.e., the alleged raising of antinational slogans on campus, is completely unacceptable, he also says that the others got away too easy. He believes that everyone involved should be rusticated and not simply fined. The others feel that fining Saurabh is an appeasement tactic by the HLEC which wants to be seen as unbiased.

Across the board, there is nothing but anger for the HLEC’s decisions on the JNU campus.

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