JNU adjourns Council meeting amid high drama over 9 February event
New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday saw high drama at an Academic Council meeting which was adjourned following ruckus caused by heated arguments between teachers, students and administration.
The Academic Council (AC) is the statutory decision making body of the university and this was the first meeting ever since the new Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar took charge in January.
While the university administration alleged that some students "literally pulled his (vc's) shirt and tried to pin him down" while he was leaving the venue amid ruckus, the students claimed that the VC left following uproar over report of the High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC) which investigated the controversial 9 February event.
Meanwhile, a group of 52 teachers who are also members of the AC, passed a resolution demanding that "all unreasonable punishments in connection with the February 9 event be revoked".
"The meeting was not allowed to proceed by a group of teachers and their student supporters who from the very beginning pressed their demand to discuss an issue that was not part of the agenda. The behaviour of these teachers was unruly as they collectively shouted at the chair and sought to force upon him to begin the meeting with their item as first agenda," a statement issued by the university said.
"As the situation turned into pandemonium, the VC agreed to discuss their agenda. However, a group of teachers sought to force upon the chairperson to take a decision then and there by announcing revocation of the proctorial orders. As a result, there was no alternative left for him but to adjourn the meeting," it added.
While JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid Shora alleged that she and JNUSU general secretary Rama Naga were initially not allowed entry to the meeting despite the invitation, the university officials denied it.
"I have seen several negotiations with the administration. I have seen previous JNUSU president talking very aggressively to the previous VC on the issue of hostels. But the previous VC handled it calmly by having a conversation with students," Shehla said in a JNUSU statement.
"It has now become clear that the VC is a puppet whose strings are pulled by the RSS. Even when the court has stayed the punishments, the VC cannot take a moral call on HLEC issue," she added.
ABVP member and JNUSU joint secretary, Saurabh Sharma claimed that the left-backed teachers and students didn't allow the agenda on OBC reservation to be discussed demanding that first the 9 February issue should be discussed.
The resolution passed by the teachers read, "the overwhelming sense in the AC meeting was that the whole range of punishments meted out to students is excessive and harsher punishments such as rustication, suspension, banishment from campus and exorbitant fines should be immediately revoked".
Meanwhile, the hunger strike by students against the punishment by the varsity in connection with the event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, entered 13th day on Tuesday.
So far, 12 students, including JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, have withdrawn from the fast.
The university had on Monday formed a four-member team to discuss the demands of the students.
The students union, however, is yet to take a decision whether to enter into negotiations with the administration or not.
The indefinite hunger strike at JNU against punishment to students by the university in connection with the controversial 9 February event, entered the fifth day on Monday
The JNU administration has sent letters to parents of the students who are on an indefinite hunger strike against punishment imposed on them.