JNU administration has ordered a disciplinary enquiry about an event students held on campus against the hanging of Afzal Guru.
This move comes after ABVP began protesting outside the VC’s office, demanding all the students who ‘misled’ the university about the nature of the events to be expelled.
JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagdeesh Kumar believes that the entire event was an act of indiscipline as the event was sought by ‘giving incomplete information’. The Varsity registrar Bhupinder Zutshi seconded the VC, claiming that Afzal Guru’s name was not mentioned anywhere in the permission request and the students allegedly passed it off as cultural event.
The students were to hold this event on Tuesday, 9 February, marking the death anniversary of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru, which was later cancelled by the university after the VC received a letter prompting them about the same. The VC claims that they cancelled the event after they looked at posters that read out the programmes name — “A country without a post office — against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt”. The idea was to protest through poetry, art and music.
According to The Week, a group of students part of ABVP protested against the event. They believe that such protests must not be held on university ground, which led to the university administration cancelling the event as they "feared" it "may disrupt peace on the campus".
However, students went ahead with their event, holding art and photo exhibitions on the issue. There was no protest held. This agitated the ABVP members who gathered outside the VC’s office, shouting slogans demanding the expulsion of the students.
Mail Today reported that the university had turned into a "battlefield", stating that the Station House Officer of Vasant Kunj got a call from the JNU VC informing him about a possible confrontation between students holding different ideologies. The Police was present on campus on Tuesday, although they told Mail Today that no untoward event happened and they were present only as a "preventive measure".
An ABVP representative in JNUSU, Saurabh Kumar Sharma told Mail Today that outsiders joined the march and one outsider pulled out a "country made pistol or Katta" and disappeared into the crowd. The ABVP believes that this was an event that "glorified terrorists".
Not the first time the Left and Right clash at JNU
This isn’t the first time the JNU has organised an event on the death anniversary Afzal Guru. A report in DNA from 2015 states that, the JNU Democratic Student Union (DSU) had organized a discussion on Afzal Guru. The meeting which was to be held at the Tapti hostel, had the warden’s permission for the discussion but was eventually cancelled after being deemed sensitive. This led to clashes between ABVP and the left student group.
Another report by Kashmir Media Service says that student members of the ABVP and RSS tried to disrupt a seminar on the Kashimir dispute at JNU and also tried to manhandle Delhi University Professor, Syed Abdur Rehman Gilani when he began his lecture on The undying spirit of Kashmir: The question of self-determination.
Gilani was also arrested along with Afzal Guru. According to Kashmir Media Service, the students attending the seminar, apparently some 500 odd students, took to a procession and chanted slogans in solidarity with Kashmir’s freedom from India.
A small gathering of people, mainly students from JNU and other universities in Delhi, started a protest in Jantar Mantar in Delhi the day Afzal Guru was hanged in Tihar Jail on 9 February 2013, said a report in Kafila. This protest was disrupted by the VHP, with some snatching posters away from the protesters, an article in The Hindu said.