Hunger Strike Updates

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JNUSU Resolution on HLEC

Here’s the text of the resolution regarding HLEC passed in the JNU University General Body Meeting (UGBM) dated 12th April, 2016:

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

Passed

An emergency JNUSU council meeting held on 16th March 2016 has passed the following resolution

The JNUSU has expressed its concern over the composition, terms of reference and functionality of the High Level Enquiry Committee (HLEC). We have communicated to the JNU administration how the HLEC has violated principles of natural justice in the enquiry process. The JNU administration has neither addressed our concerns nor has taken any steps regarding this. Without addressing these concerns no free and fair enquiry is possible. Now students have been served show cause notices which hold them guilty. The accused have not even been given the entire enquiry report despite the demand raised by the JNUSU. The accused students have not even been told the specific charges against them. The JNUSU will oppose any disciplinary action based upon the findings of this partial and biased enquiry.

Proposer: Shehla Rashid

Seconder: Satarupa Chakraborty

In favour: 18
Against: 3
Abstain: 1

Resolution Passed.

JNU students plan protest tomorrow demanding Rohith Act

Jawaharlal Nehru University students are planning to meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Union home minister Rajnath Singh to seek justice and to discuss the political issues that they have been highlighting.

JNU Students’ Union vice-president Ms Shehla Rashid Shora told the media here on Sunday that they were planning a nation-wide protest on March 15 with students from other universities, demanding the Rohith Act and release of JNU students Umer Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, and DU professor S.A.R. Geelani, who were arrested on charges of sedition.

 

JNU students plan protest tomorrow demanding Rohith Act

Kanhaiya Kumar Had No Meeting With JNU Registrar: Students’ Union

The JNU Students’ Union today alleged that university Registrar Bhupinder Zutshi made a “false” statement before a probe panel that Kanhaiya Kumar and other student leaders had a meeting with him Mr Zutshi on the day of controversial Afzal Guru event.

Kanhaiya Kumar Had No Meeting With JNU Registrar: Students’ Union

JNU row: Kanhaiya had no meeting with Registrar on 9 February, says JNUSU – Firstpost

The university issued a press statement on Monday saying the, “Registrar had a meeting with three JNUSU representatives – Kanhaiya Kumar, Rama Naga and Saurabh Sharma (ABVP) on February 9 for discussion on route for newly acquired bus for physically challenged students of JNU”.

Zutshi has made the same statement before the probe panel inquiring into an event on campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

“We want to condemn the false statements made by JNU Registrar. I have checked with other JNUSU office-bearers.
There was no such meeting of Zutshi with JNUSU President and General Secretary, on February 9 as described by him in his statements. The other office-bearers did not even meet one another, let alone meeting the Registrar together,” JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid Shora said in a statement.

JNU row: Kanhaiya had no meeting with Registrar on 9 February, says JNUSU – Firstpost

JNUSU release on gag order against photocopy shops

Emergency like Gag Order by Delhi Police and JNU Administration!

Banning Photocopy of Posters and Pamphlets Inside and Outside JNU through Threat and Intimidation!

In a continuation to the clamp down on freedom of expression, the Delhi Police and the JNU administration have crossed all limits and have started prohibiting photocopying of posters and pamphlets of JNU students. The Delhi Police has threatened photocopy shop owners in localities near JNU and has asked them not to print posters and pamphlets. There are also reports of intimidation and torture of some of the photocopy shop owners by the Delhi Police. In a similar fashion, the JNU administration has asked the photocopy shop owners inside JNU not to print posters and pamphlets.

The JNUSU condemns in strongest words the gagging of voices by the police and the JNU administration misusing power. It further shows that the BJP government and its machinery can stoop down to any level to ensure that no other choice other than their own is allowed. They tried to silence the voice of criticality, democracy and dissent by arresting JNUSU President Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban. They tried to scare us through sedition charges. But when they have realised that our words are not alone, that they find thousand resonance, they are now trying their best to silence us.

JNUSU will not accept this attempt of gagging at any cost.

(JNUSU Release dated 2 March 2016)

JNUSU Statement of Thanks for Global Support and Call for International Day of Protest and Action in Solidarity with Students in India on 2nd March 2016

To all Friends (in Delhi, India and the World) who have Supported the Struggle of JNU students and students elsewhere in India  in the past few weeks.

Thank you for your message of solidarity. In this hour of unprecedented attack on us, what has been a source of great strength are messages like these, which we have pasted all over the Administration Building. We have not been able to respond to each message because of being extremely overburdened. However, we are writing back today, in order to update you regarding the status of the struggle, and with a call to action on the 2nd of March, 2016 in your city.

The struggle as of now, continues on two fronts:

First is the political battle to get the sedition and other charges removed from all JNU students. As you know, on the 9th of Feb, 2016, after the event in question, there had been a rally by the organisers and participants of the event inside the campus. The right-wing group, ABVP, which represents the current ruling party in India, blocked the road, leading to a scuffle. There were FIRs and counter FIRs lodged by both sides against one another. The FIRs were that of manhandling, etc. However, an MP of the ruling party, Mahesh Giri, pressured the police to file cases of “Sedition” against activists representing the Left-progressive sections. Next thing we know, the police were doing rounds of the campus, raiding hostels and hounding student leaders. It was a painful attack on the University’s autonomy- finding precedent only in the state-declared Emergency (suspension of Constitution) several decades back. JNUSU President, arrested on that day, continues to be in jail. Those who assaulted him repeatedly, not just in the court premises, but in the courtroom as well, continue to roam about freely! Repeated acts of violence by ABVP in the campus since 9th of February have gone unpunished. The application of sedition and other charges is, therefore, politically determined. Civil rights activists have questioned the continued existence of the provision of sedition on the law book. It has been routinely abused to silence dissenters. In India’s Koodankulam, 8,000 civilians who were opposing the building of a nuclear plant in their area were charged with sedition! India’s Parliament is in session right now and we have appealed to various MPs to raise the issue in the Parliament. Since the application of the sedition law is politically determined, we need to build political pressure to get the criminal charges from all JNU students removed. On the 2nd of March, 2016, therefore, the JNU Students’ Union has called for a March to Parliament and International Protest Day with three main demands:

–          Removal of sedition and other charges from all JNU students and release the arrested students.

–          Scrapping of sedition law (Sec 124A IPC).

–          Enactment of a “Rohith Act” for ending caste-based discrimination in educational institutions. (Rohith was the name of a Dalit student in HCU who was forced to commit suicide after being hounded by the University administration at the behest of, again the ABVP, the MHRD and one of the BJP MPs who is also the Union Labour Minister. Rohith and his friends were partially suspended from the university, resulting in a virtual social boycott, as they couldn’t access public spaces. What is happening in JNU is very similar. In HCU, the attack was on Ambedkarite activists, whereas in JNU, the attack is on Left activists, a majority of them belonging to deprived backgrounds. The enactment of a “Rohith Act” seeks to provide institutional mechanisms to end caste-based discrimination in universities and other educational institutions.)

JNUSU appeals you to join the March to Parliament on 2nd March, 2016 from Mandi House to Parliament at 12 noon, if you are in Delhi. If not in Delhi, we appeal to you to hold parallel events in your city/country in support of our demands. We also appeal to everyone to use the hash tag #StandWithJNU to post live updates and support. Let’s try to trend #StandWithJNU globally. You may consider presenting a memorandum of demands to the local authorities as well or holding a press conference in order to publicize the demands of this movement.

The second challenge, as of now, is to ensure that the academic suspension of eight activists is unconditionally revoked.After the 9th February incident, the University administration, after a delay of about 48 hours, constituted an enquiry committee but the committee seems keener in vendetta rather than enquiry. As a norm, matters relating to the students are dealt with at the level of Proctor office. However, the administration, bypassing the Proctorial board, constituted a three-member High Level Committee which did not even bother to inform the students as to what they are actually being accused of. If the University is not clear about the exact accusation, how did they arrive at the eight names, named in the enquiry? The answer is clear- these are leading student activists of the campus, including the President and General Secretary of the Students’ Union. Also, without pointing out the exact charges against each student and without even starting the enquiry process, the Committee “prime facie” found them guilty and debarred them from academic activities! What did the committee find them “guilty” of, when the administration has not even been able to zero in on the exact charge against them? The JNU Students’ Union and the JNU Teachers’ Association have both expressed their grave concerns regarding the composition, scope and intentions of the committee. After a total boycott of the committee by the students, the administration has now added two more members to it, after all the depositions have been made. This pattern is similar to what happened in HCU- the committee that punished Rohith Vemula and his friends had a Dalit member added to it at the very last stage. We have serious concerns about the intentions of the committee and we believe that no enquiry can take place in the atmosphere of fear and insecurity that has been created for the students. When the students are already debarred, an enquiry works as a tool of blackmail against valiant student activists, seeking to tame them into submission or compromise. The stakes for the students under enquiry are very high, as most of them belong to marginalised backgrounds- there are two Dalit students, two students from backward communities, minority students as well as women. Academic suspension for these students creates a distress of unimaginable levels for them and makes them vulnerable. Expecting these students to cooperate with the enquiry committee is unreasonable.

On the 29th of February, 2016 (that is, Monday) the JNU Administration has called for an emergency meeting of the Executive Council- the governing body of the University. The JNU Students’ Union has called for a Daylong Dharna (sit-in) outside the Administration Block building demanding:

–          Immediate revocation of suspension of the 8 student activists: Kanhaiya (JNUSU President), Rama (JNUSU Gen Sec), Ashutosh (Former JNUSU President), Anant (Former JNUSU Vice-President), Shweta Raj (Elected Convenor, JNUSU), Aishwarya (Elected student representative to GSCASH), Umar and Anirban (both research scholars in History).

–          Removal of the University Registrar, Prof. Bhupinder Zutshi, for mishandling the situation

We will stand outside the Ad Block from 10 am onwards, voluntarily boycotting classes and presenting memorandums covered in black ribbons to the EC members.

Today (Sunday, 28 Feb), JNUSU has called for an Open House meeting to seek suggestions from the students, as to how the movement should be taken forward.

Thanking you once again for the solidarity, we reiterate the appeal to observe International Protest Day on the 2nd of March, 2016 in support of JNU. Let’s trend the hashtag #StandWithJNU worldwide on 2nd of March, 2016.

Regards

Shehla (Vice-President, JNUSU)

Rama Naga (Gen Sec, JNUSU)

JNUSU Call for March to Parliament on the International Protest Day

jnusu29

JNUSU Statement on the Police Action and ABVP slander in JNU

We, the office-bearers of JNUSU, are appalled at the way an uproar has been created over the 9th February incident that happened in JNU and the way the entire incident is being used to malign JNU students and the democratic traditions of JNU.

At the outset, we condemn the divisive slogans (‘bharat ke tukde honge hazar’) that were raised by some people on that day. It is important to note that the slogans were not raised by members of Left organizations or JNU students. In fact, when such sloganeering took place, it was the Left-progressive organizations and students, including JNUSU office-bearers who asked the organizers of the programme to ask the people who were raising the slogans to stop slogans that are regressive. The divisive slogans and the ideology behind it has never been a part of the progressive tradition that JNU and the JNUSU uphold. On the contrary, the unity of the people of different parts of the country in challenging divisive, authoritarian, anti-people and anti-student forces is what we stand with and look up to. Even in the recent times, the JNU student community and the JNUSU have joined nation-wide students’ voice to defend the country against casteist and authoritarian power lobbies. The Left-progressive organizations were present at the programme only to ensure that no violence takes place, as ABVP had called in hooligans from DU to disrupt the program and the general atmosphere in the campus. And so, to interpret our presence as endorsement of some divisive slogans which were raised by some (and was protested and stopped) is extremely mischievous and manipulative.The JNU administration, acting on the diktats of the ABVP, cancelled the permission for the program which it had earlier granted. This clearly points out that the administration is acting under ABVP’s pressure to silence any kind of differing view point. Universities are spaces of dialogue and discussion and, if a group is holding a peaceful programme, the administration cannot act under the pressure of one political group to silence another. The administration called in the police, but, surprisingly, the police did not act when ABVP members went into physical confrontation with the students, misbehaved with women and beat up students. ABVP called DU students to the JNU campus to help in beating up students, while the police, whose duty was to prevent violence, watched silently.

What happened in JNU on that day is a repeat of what happened in HCU with Rohith Vemula and his friends. Meetings, academic discussions and seminars on the death penalty awarded to Afzal Guru have been held in universities and law colleges for several years. Law universities are undertaking research into the question of death penalty for quite some time. However, under pressure from ABVP, the administration took a politically motivated stand and stood in subservience to the ABVP. Now, activists- even those who were not present at the occasion- are being threatened with disciplinary action, while the violence by ABVP goons is conveniently forgotten. Those people or organizations who differ wth ABVP are being branded “anti-national”- the same pattern done in HCU. ABVP has said that they would approach ministries to ensure “punishment” for various activists, once again suggesting that the ministries would accept their narrative uncritically and witch-hunt students.

The ABVP is a completely discredited organization and have been exposed in their government’s shameful role in withdrawing fellowships and other sectors of social spending as well as in cases of caste discrimination and witch hunt. The misrepresentation of certain political positions by ABVP is nothing but an attempt to cover-up the shame of various scams like Vyapam and the Bank Loan scam, the communal, casteist agenda of RSS, and the blatant commercialization of education.

These machinations are an attempt to produce communal divisions, ahead of some key elections, and the JNUSU urges all democratic sections to reject such baseless propaganda. JNUSU also urges the progressive democratic section to condemn the divisive sloganeering in unequivocal terms.

Kanhaiya Kumar, President, JNUSU
Shehla Rashid Shora, Vice President, JNUSU
Rama Naga, General Secretary, JNUSU

JNUSU pamphlet on the 9 February incident

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union

Pamphlet dated 11.2.2016

On the 9 Feb Incident

We, the office-bearers of JNUSU, are appalled at the way an uproar has been created over the 9th February incident that happened in JNU and the way the entire incident is being used to malign JNU students and the democratic traditions of JNU.

At the outset, we condemn the divisive slogans (‘bharat ke tukde honge hazar’) that were raised by some people on that day. It is important to note that the slogans were not raised by members of Left organisations or JNU students. In fact, when such sloganeering took place, it was the Left-progressive organisations and students, including JNUSU office-bearers who asked the organisers of the programme to ask the people who were raising the slogans to stop slogans that are regressive. The divisive slogans and the ideology behind it has never been a part of the progressive tradition that JNU and the JNUSU uphold. On the contrary, the unity of the people of different parts of the country in challenging divisive, authoritarian, anti-people and anti-student forces is what we stand with and look up to. Even in the recent times, the JNU student community and the JNUSU have joined nation-wide students’ voices to defend the country against casteist and authoritarian power lobbies. The Left-progressive organizations were present at the programme only to ensure that no violence takes place, as ABVP had called in hooligans from DU to disrupt the program and the general atmosphere in the campus. And so, to interpret our presence as endorsement of some divisive slogans which were raised by some (and was protested and stopped) is extremely mischievous and manipulative.

The JNU administration, acting on the diktats of the ABVP, cancelled the permission for the program which it had earlier granted. This clearly points out that the administraiton is acting under ABVP’s pressure to silence any kind of differing view point. Universities are spaces of dialogue and discussion and, if a group is holding a peaceful programme, the administration cannot act under the pressure of one political group to silence another. The administration called in the police, but, surprisingly, the police idd not act when ABVP members went into physical confrontation with the students, misbehaved with women and beat up students. ABVP called DU students to the JNU campus to help in beating up students, while the police, whose duty was to prevent violence, watched silently.

What happened in JNU on that day is a repeat of what happened in HCU with Rohith Vemula and his friends. Meetings, academic discussions and seminars on the death penalty awarded to Afzal Guru have been held in universities and law colleges for several years. Law universities are undertaking research into the question of death penalty for quite some time. However, under pressure from ABVP, the administration took a politically motivated stand and stood in subservience to the ABVP. Now, activists – even those who were not present at the occasion – are being threatened with disciplinary action, while the violence by the ABVP goons is conveniently forgotten. Those people or organizations who differ with ABVP are being branded “anti-national” – the same pattern done in HCU. ABVP has said that they would approach ministries to ensure “punishment” for various activists, once again suggesting that the ministries would accept their narrative uncritically and witch-hunt students.

The ABVP is a completely discredited organization and have been exposed in their government’ shameful role in withdrawing fellowships and other sectors of social spending as well as in cases of caste discrimination and witch hunt. The misrepresentation of certain political positions by ABVP is nothing but an attempt to cover-up the shame of various scams like Vyapam and the Bank Loan scam, the communal, casteist agenda of RSS, and the blatant commercialization of education. These machinations are an attempt to produce communal divisions, ahead of some key elections, and the JNUSU urges all democratic sectins to reject such baseless propaganda. JNUSU also urges the progressive democratic sections to condemn the divisive sloganeering in unequivocal terms.

Sd/-

Kanhaiya Kumar, President, JNUSU

Shehla Rashid Shora, Vice President, JNUSU

Rama Naga, General Secretary, JNUSU

 

JNUSU pamphlet on the 9 February incident

JNUSU pamphlet on the 9 February incident