So, the High Level Enquiry Committee at JNU, set up under the watch of Jagadish Kumar, the recently appointed Vice Chancellor, has just delivered a low blow. A summary of its decisions (taken from the Facebook Wall of JNUSU Vice President, Shehla Rashid) meted out as the consequences of the events of February 9 and after is as follows :
Umar Khalid, rusticated for one semester + 20K fine.
Anirban, rusticated till 15 July & from 25 July, out of bounds for 5 years.
Another Kashmiri student rusticated for two semesters.
Ashutosh, former JNUSU President, removed from hostel for one year + fine.
Chintu, former JNUSU Gen Sec: 20K fine
Rama, current JNUSU Gen Sec: 20K fine
Anant, former JNUSU Vice-President: 20K fine
Aishwarya, current GSCASH representative: 20K fine.
Gargi, current JNUSU councillor: 20 K fine
Shveta Raj, current SL & CS Convener: 20 K fine
Kanhaiyya, current JNUSU President: 10K fine
Other organisers fined from 10K to 20K
Two ex students declared out of bounds from campus.
This is an administration, which, in obedience to its backers in the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Government of India, that knows only one way of dealing with the students in its charge – and that is a replica of the vindictive path that eventually drove Rohith Vemula to his institutionally mandated death in Hyderabad University.
This is an administration that invited police to intervene in what was essentially a dispute between groups of students, at the instigation of right wing thugs.
This is an administration that refused to take responsibility for the life and safety of students when they were given death threats.
This is an administration that has vitiated the academic atmosphere, been complacent when professors have been defamed in the media, and has made a mockery of academic autonomy.
This is an administration that has acted as the shock-troops of the current regime’s war on young people.
Here are three statements, two by Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya – who have been assaulted by this draconian order, and by Shehla Rashid the current vice president of the JNU Students Union. All three statements are taken from their Facebook walls.
Here is Anirban‘s statement:
Our Decision, simple: UNACCEPTABLE.
Down with the fascist witch-hunt of student activists by the administration under the diktats of Nagpur!
Reject as per the UGBM mandate the punishments handed down by the administration on the basis of the findings of the farcical HLEC!
Right to Dissent Long Live!
Here is Umar Khalid‘s statement:
The JNU administration declares its allegiance to RSS, once again!
After allowing police to enter campus to unleash the worst repression on unprecedented in the history of JNU, now the JNU admin has come down with its own list of punishments. Its official now – the recommendations of the farcical High Level Enquiry Commitee have been released to the press in a press statement today by the JNU administration. Punishments include rustication, withdrawal of hostel facilities, fines and even out of bounds orders for some. Interestingly, the statement states punishment to be taken against two ex-students of JNU, who were never even summoned by the admin during the enquiry! A farce is what this enquiry has been from day one made to witch-hunt and punish students by hook or crook. Do we need to remind you, Mr Jagdish Kumar that unlike you the students and teachers of this campus are not pliant stooges of the RSS. Your friend Appa Rao did the same to our friend Rohith Vemula and his comrades. They fought back, they are our inspiration and so will we. The punishments on students are NOT acceptable to us. Get ready for a fight back!
Here is Shehla Rashid‘s (JNUSU Vice President) statement.
We completely reject this farcical enquiry report, as it is based on sheer vendetta and a biased enquiry. These are all innocent students, coming from extremely humble and underprivileged backgrounds. They are all dedicated activists and this is a conspiracy to crush anti-Modi voices.
Not only will we not remain silent against this anti-people government, we will also challenge this sham of a report.
The punishments are all based on one-sided statements from ABVP members, and our repeated calls to conduct a fair enquiry were ignored.
The VC is taking directions from the Central govt. He should have acted first as an academician and then as an RSS loyalist. Rakesh Bhatnagar, the head of the committee, is the treasurer of anti-reservationist Youth for Equality, and most students who have been punished belong to Dalit, Muslim and backward castes.
Students across the country have assured support to us. People from all walks of life are supporting JNU students against this targeting. We will launch a countrywide campaign to expose this government’s anti-student, anti-Dalit character.
There will be no more Eklavyas.
On April 12, 2016 (thirteen days ago) the General Body Meeting of JNU Students voted in favor of the following resolution : :
Resolution 2: This house rejects the HLEC formed by the JNU administration to look into the 9th February incident. The Constitution of the Committee is undemocratic and biased. Bypassing the Proctorial board and other democratic institutions, the Committee had handpicked anti-student members, most notably the head of the Committee who is in-charge of raising funds for the anti-reservation Youth for Equality. The committee had token additions to it, but no fresh enquiry was conducted. This house mandates the JNUSU to reject the HLEC and oppose any action against students based on the HLEC.
Proposer: Shehla Rashid
Seconder: Rama Naga
Against: 5; For: 80
It is up to all the students of JNU to decide how they will respond to the shocking decision of the HLEC as a united body. As is evident above, the UGBM revolution of the 12th of April commits them to totally rejecting the administration’s punitive course of actions. If these students, who have been very patient, and extremely restrained till now, decide to intensify their resistance, then only the administration and the current vice chancellor can be held responsible for the consequences. If students and young people across India decide to stand with the students of JNU and Hyderabad University and confront this regime, and its masters in Nagpur then the regime itself will be responsible for the social conflicts that will erupt.
It is clear that the regime is headed by idiots, but it is also increasingly becoming clear that they are digging their own graves, eroding and tearing apart the already fragile fabric of their own legitimacy.
If the students and the young decide to take the fight forward. We will all stand by them.