Students, suspended by the JNU administration for “disrupting” an academic council meeting, on Friday refuted the charges against them, claiming that their suspension was in “violation of all norms” and an attack on them due to their “marginalised and oppressed” background. The students, two of whom the university termed ‘de-registered’, denied the charges against them before the media at Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union building.
“We wish to bring it to the public notice through media that the blatant violation of procedural norms and discriminatory witch-hunting of students belonging to marginalised and oppressed communities is being done by the Proctor’s Office of JNU,” the students said.
“The Proctor’s Office adopted the vindictive and arbitrary method of slapping students with suspension notices on false and trumped up charges,” they said in a joint statement. They claimed 11 students have been suspended for allegedly disrupting an academic council meeting on December 26. But the JNU administration maintained that action has been taken against only nine student in connection with the incident.
“Eleven have been identified for disrupting AC meeting on December 26. Two are former JNU students and 9 current students. These 9 have been suspended,” said a JNU official. The students, however, said they were “peacefully” protesting outside the meeting venue demanding that the upper limit of viva voice marks be brought down to 15 from 30 for admissions to M.Phil and PhD courses at the university.
“The security personnel refused to deliver our memorandum to the AC meeting. They manhandled us at the entrance of the Convention Centre. They broke the latch of the door of the meeting room. We also emphasise that we did not indulge in any kind of ‘physical violence’ as claimed by Proctor’s Office,” they said.
The students belonging to Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA), Democratic Students Union (DSU) and the United OBC Forum, have formed an 11-member committee to chalk out the course of their political agitation and the legal action against their suspension. Mrityunjay Singh Yadav, Bhupali, Prashant Kumar, Shakeel Anjum, Deelip Kumar, Dilip Kumar Yadav, Mulayam Singh, Dawa Sherpa, Sonpimple Rahul, T Praveen and Birendra Kumar have been suspended according to the statement.
T Praveen and Birendra Kumar, both PhD students, claimed they were students of JNU and showed their ID cards, although the university administration says they were former students. JNUSU, which has criticised the suspension, has planned a ‘Fight Back JNU Revoke Suspensions’ march.