Memorandum to the Hon’ble President of India, May 11

Shri Pranab Mukherjee

Hon’ble President of India,
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
Raisina Hill,
New Delhi 110001

Sir,

We the undersigned are deeply distressed by the openly vindictive, unlawful and unjust attempts by the administration of JNU, Delhi, to suppress dissenting perspectives by university students.

The Vice Chancellor, based on the report of a High Level Enquiry Committee appointed by him has imposed on several students grave punishments, not only of high fines, but also rustication of varying periods and a bar on entry into the university.

These punishments suffer from three kinds of defects.

Firstly, the High Level Enquiry Committee as well as the Vice Chancellor did not follow elementary processes of natural justice before imposing these serious penalties on the students that can damage their careers permanently. They did not share the materials with the students on the basis of which adverse inferences were drawn against the students, nor did they hear many of the students or give them a fair opportunity to contest the so-called evidence.

The second fatal flaw in the High Level Enquiry Committee report is that a major part of the evidence is video recordings that an enquiry by the Delhi Government established were mischievously doctored to create adverse public sentiments against the students, and also result in both criminal and administrative action against them.

The third is that the punishments are entirely disproportionate to the alleged offences. In the best universities in all the world’s democracies, students are not punished for allegedly organising programmes or raising slogans or demands that are deemed unacceptable to nationalist opinion.

The students have been fasting for more than 10 days in the height of the summer heat to protest peacefully and democratically against their punishments. The health of the students is declining alarmingly, but this has not moved the JNU administration which should be the custodians of the students’ well-being to heed the demands of the students.

We therefore urge you in your capacity as the head of the Indian nation as well as Visitor of the University to kindly intercede with utmost urgency to annul the HLEC report and the unlawful and unjust punishments awarded by the JNU administration.

With regards

Yours sincerely

On behalf of:

AIDWA, AILU, AIPWA, ALL INDIA TANZEEM-E-INSAAF, ALL INDIA UNION OF FOREST WORKING PEOPLE, AMAN BIRADARI, ANHAD, CITYMAKERS MISSION INTERNATIONAL, DELHI ASANGATHIT NIRMAN MAZDOOR UNION (DANMU), DELHI SOLIDARITY GROUP, DEMOCRATIC TEACHERS’ FRONT, DESI DISHA TEAM, DWARKA COLLECTIVE, DYFI, FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC ASSOCIATIONS OF ARCHDIOCESE OF DELHI, FORUM AGAINST CORRUPTION & THREATS, GUILD OF SERVICE, HAZARDS CENTRE, ILLUSTRIOUS NATIONALIST SOCIALIST ACTIVISTS FORUM, INDIAN NATIONAL MIGRANT WORKERS UNION (INMWU), INSAF, JAMIA COLLECTIVE, JANA NATYA MANCH, JANASAMSKRITI, JANWADI LEKHAK SANGH, JHARKHAND MINES AREA COORDINATION COMMITTEE, KERALA SASTRA SAHITYA PARISHAT DELHI FORUM, LOK RAJ SANGATHAN, MAHATMA GANDHI FOUNDATION, MAJMA, MEWAT SANGHARSH SAMITI, NAPM, NATIONAL FISHWORKERS’S FORUM, NAZARIYA, NCDHR, NFIW, NIRMAN MAZDOOR ADHIKAR ABHIYAN, PROGRESSIVE WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION, REDS, RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION, SAHELI, SAMARPAN, SFI, SHAMBHAVI, SIKSHA, TELANGANA BHUMI RAKSHANA SANGAM

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