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Afzal Guru event: JNU panel hears ‘guilty’ students’ appeals

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A month after the Delhi High Court stayed the punishments awarded to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students in connection with the February 9 event on the campus, students found guilty by its high-level inquiry committee deposed before the varsity’s four-member panel on Thursday.

The new panel was set up to hear the appeals of 21 students found guilty of violating various university norms by JNU’s high-level inquiry committee.

“We received a notice nearly three days ago about the committee being set up and were asked to depose before it. All the students were called at different timings on Thursday and each of them put their point before the committee,” said JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) general secretary Rama Naga, who is also one of the students found guilty by the high-level inquiry committee.

“Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar formed the committee to assist him in his capacity as the appellate authority to hear the appeals of students found guilty by the high-level inquiry committee of violating various university rules during the February 9 incident on campus,” an official statement said.

“Prof. Vibha Tandon, Prof. Priyadarshi Mukherji, Dr. Krishnendra Meena and Dr. Md. Qutbuddin are the members of this committee,” it added.

An event marking the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was organised on campus in February, during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. This kicked up a huge controversy and led the varsity to take action against those involved in the event.

Twenty-one JNU students were awarded varied punishments, ranging from rustication and hostel debarment to financial penalty, on the basis of the high-level inquiry committee probe.

Three students, including JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, were arrested in a sedition case over the event and are now out on bail. Students against whom charges were fixed by the university and others had gone on an indefinite hunger strike, which lasted 16 days, in protest against the punishments. Since the varsity refused to withdraw the punitive action proposed against the students, some of them moved the High Court challenging the action.

Following this, the court issued directions to JNUSU to immediately end the hunger strike and to not launch any fresh agitation. It stayed action against the students till their appeals were decided by the appellate authority.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:30:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Afzal-Guru-event-JNU-panel-hears-%E2%80%98guilty%E2%80%99-students%E2%80%99-appeals/article14427157.ece

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