JNU teachers to observe a day’s hunger strike

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) will observe a hunger strike on Tuesday against the university administration on various issues, including slapping fine on Kanahiya Kumar and rusticating three other students.

The JNUTA called a general body meeting on April 28 and decided to hold one-day hunger strike to protest “non-responsive attitude of the administration” on the current situation on the campus, the teachers association announced late Sunday in a statement.

“We are forced to take this step without a response on major issues, including on continuation of the seniority-based rotation system in appointment of Deans and Chairpersons, on intimidation of colleagues, victimisation of elected representatives, unsupportive attitude towards wardens and IHA officials when attacked by motivated elements, non-implementation of HLEC Report on harassment of Dr. Burton,” the JNUTA said.

The association also slammed the administration and the High Level Enquiry Committee for the penalties handed down to the students accused of involvement in the Feburary 9 incident, saying the punishment was awarded without a credible inquiry.

The committee, constituted on February 11, fined Kanhaiya Kumar Rs.10,000 and rusticated students Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Mujeeb Gatto for their involvement in the event.

Anti-national slogans were reportedly raised during an event held on the JNU campus to commemorate parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s death anniversary.

“Our students are on indefinite hunger strike against arbitrary penalties imposed without a credible inquiry. Instead of bringing back normalcy, the administration is busy provoking the students by digging up old complaints, sending Proctorial Punishment declaration to special cell of Delhi Police, denying striking students access to bathroom and toilet facilities etc.,” the JNUTA said.

Two of the accused students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were recently served fresh notice by the administration for their alleged involvement in a screening of “Muzaffarnagar abhi baqi hai” which was held last August.

JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Khalid and 18 others began their indefinite hunger strike on April 27, rejecting the findings and recommendations of the HLEC that probed the February 9 event on the JNU campus.

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