All Actions Against JNU Students Be Withdrawn: MPs to President

A delegation of MPs from Congress and the Left met the President regarding the action taken against JNU students.

A student agitation in progress at Jawaharlal Nehru University. (Photo: PTI)

A delegation of MPs from various parties, including the Left and Congress, met President Pranab Mukherjee on 6 May. The meeting was with regards to the punitive action taken against Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, including JNUSU chief Kanhaiya Kumar that led him to sit on a hunger strike.

The delegation asked Pranab Mukherjee to withdraw forthwith all actions taken against students by JNU authorities.

A memorandum handed over to the President said:

All actions taken by the VC and the university administration against the students must be withdrawn forthwith. You will agree that all of us will have to wait till the ongoing judicial proceedings are concluded.

The MPs – Digvijay Singh (Congress), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), D Raja (CPI), KC Tyagi and Pawan Kumar Verma (JD-U), KTS Tulsi (nominated), Majid Memon (NCP) and Baishnab Parida (BJD), told Mukherjee that the current crisis over disciplinary action by the Vice Chancellor “threatens to engulf the university in a crisis of unprecedented proportions”.

The delegation further added that JNU is considered among the best universities in India, with an unblemished global ranking and standing. Consequently, the issue has done much damage to the university.

Under these circumstances, when the damage to the university is reaching irreparable proportions, we are urging your urgent intervention. We hope that you would intervene to ensure that justice is done.

The MPs also said the stringent punitive action against some students, including the elected president of Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union, appear to be based on sections of the High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC) report that was released by the university.

[These conclusions are based on] so-called evidence that is currently under dispute in judicial proceedings. Hence the matter is sub-judice. It is unprecedented that the Vice Chancellor should take such strong action on the basis of so-called evidence which is a sub judice matter.

The leaders also said the “so-called” evidence has been contradicted by Delhi government mandated magisterial enquiry, which concluded that the “so-called visual evidence electronically recorded has been doctored”.

Despite this, they said, the varsity proceeded on such punishment of students that pushed JNU students and academic community to strong responses culminating in indefinite hunger strike by JNUSU President and some other students.