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JNU prevents students from registering as they participated in protests on campus

Priyata Brajabasi | Updated on: 26 July 2017, 21:57 IST
( Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has levied fines against 30 students for taking part in protests in the last academic year and has blocked their registration for the upcoming term until they pay the fine.

The administration has imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on all four office-bearers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and two other student activists and a fine of Rs 10,000 on 24 other students. JNU Students’ Union office bearers have enquiries pending against them on various charges, including “disrupting an Academic Council meeting”, and “unlawful confinement” of officials at
the administrative block.

JNUSU president Mohit Pandey, who was not allowed to register, alleges that students activists are been constantly harassed by the administration. “I have decided not to pay the fine since there are 7 inquires pending against me. In this case, I have been punished even when the inquiry hasn’t taken place. All the charges against me either haven’t been inquired into or I am being punished without a fair probe. If I have to pay a fine for all the inquiries, I would have to pay Rs 1.4 lakh,” Pandey told Catch.

He added, “In the case of the gherao at the Admin block after Najeeb’s disappearance, 1500 students participated in the protest. But only a few of us were singled out and targeted.  I have spoken to the Vice-Chancellor repeatedly to drop the fines on students and not to jeopardise their academic career but they haven’t budged”.

Five students, including Pandey, have refused to pay the fine. Four others -- Prashant Kumar, Dileep Yadav, Mulayam Yadav and Shakeel Anjum -- have challenged their punishment in the Delhi High Court.

Prashant Kumar and the others were charged with ‘disrupting’ an Academic Council Meeting. Kumar said the blocking of registration was not a clause mentioned in the proctorial rules. “Earlier, too, there have been many cases in which students have enquiries pending against them, but their registration has never been blocked. We have gone through the proctorial rules; nowhere is this mentioned,” he said.

However, many of the other students out of the 30 have paid their fines and have been registered for the new academic term, including some of the other students’ union office bearers.

The JNUSU president told Catch that he has decided to take a principled position of not paying the fine as the head of the union. “As the president of the Students’ Union, I am taking a stand against constant
harassment of dissenting student activists by the administration. We cannot be penalised over and over again for voicing our opinions and that too in the campus. It is our right.”

He also said that the JNUSU will be writing to the administration to ensure that the amount paid in fines by the other students will be used strictly for students’ welfare, library and other facilities.

The last of registration was 26 July.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has levied fines against 30 students for taking part in protests in the last academic year and has blocked their registration for the upcoming term until they pay the fine.

The administration has imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on all four office-bearers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and two other student activists and a fine of Rs 10,000 on 24 other students. JNU Students’ Union office bearers have enquiries pending against them on various charges, including “disrupting an Academic Council meeting”, and “unlawful confinement” of officials at
the administrative block.

JNUSU president Mohit Pandey, who was not allowed to register, alleges that students activists are been constantly harassed by the administration. “I have decided not to pay the fine since there are 7 inquires pending against me. In this case, I have been punished even when the inquiry hasn’t taken place. All the charges against me either haven’t been inquired into or I am being punished without a fair probe. If I have to pay a fine for all the inquiries, I would have to pay Rs 1.4 lakh,” Pandey told Catch.

He added, “In the case of the gherao at the Admin block after Najeeb’s disappearance, 1500 students participated in the protest. But only a few of us were singled out and targeted.  I have spoken to the Vice-Chancellor repeatedly to drop the fines on students and not to jeopardise their academic career but they haven’t budged”.

Five students, including Pandey, have refused to pay the fine. Four others -- Prashant Kumar, Dileep Yadav, Mulayam Yadav and Shakeel Anjum -- have challenged their punishment in the Delhi High Court.

Prashant Kumar and the others were charged with ‘disrupting’ an Academic Council Meeting. Kumar said the blocking of registration was not a clause mentioned in the proctorial rules. “Earlier, too, there have been many cases in which students have enquiries pending against them, but their registration has never been blocked. We have gone through the proctorial rules; nowhere is this mentioned,” he said.

However, many of the other students out of the 30 have paid their fines and have been registered for the new academic term, including some of the other students’ union office bearers.

The JNUSU president told Catch that he has decided to take a principled position of not paying the fine as the head of the union. “As the president of the Students’ Union, I am taking a stand against constant
harassment of dissenting student activists by the administration. We cannot be penalised over and over again for voicing our opinions and that too in the campus. It is our right.”

He also said that the JNUSU will be writing to the administration to ensure that the amount paid in fines by the other students will be used strictly for students’ welfare, library and other facilities.

The last of registration was 26 July.

First published: 26 July 2017, 21:57 IST
 
Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

Priyata thinks in words and delivers in pictures. The marriage of the two, she believes, is of utmost importance. Priyata joined the Catch team after working at Barcroft Media as a picture desk editor. Prior to that she was on the Output Desk of NDTV 24X7. At work Priyata is all about the news. Outside of it, she can't stay far enough. She immerses herself in stories through films, books and television shows. Oh, and she can eat. Like really.

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