The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has suspended eight students for disrupting an Academic Council meeting held on Monday. Hostel facilities for the students were also revoked on Tuesday, reported.
The incident is related to a protest organised by a group of students demanding that the Academic Council reconsider its decision to adopt a recent University Grants Commission notification that makes interviews the only criterion for admission to MPhil and PhD programmes at the university. The students have held that excess weightage to a viva would increase caste-based discrimination during interviews, reported The Telegraph.
“Those who attacked Najeeb [Ahmad, a student who went missing] are activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. The varsity did not take any action. When we are fighting against injustice and discrimination, the administration is penalising us,” Mulayam Singh Yadav, an OBC student, said. The University approved the UGC circular during Monday’s meeting, which was chaired by university Vice Chancellor M Jagdesh Kumar.
The administration, in a statement, said the protesting students “broke open the latch of the meeting room door”, barged inside and “shouted” at Kumar. “Eight students who were identified for their involvement in the disruption of the meeting have been suspended and their hostel facilities withdrawn with immediate effect. A proctorial inquiry has also been instituted in the incident,” an unidentified official told The Hindu.
The protesting students belong to the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association, the Democratic Students’ Union, Student Front for Swaraj and United OBC Forum. The JNU Students’ Union said that it would “resist” the suspension of the students.
“The JNUSU condemns the suspension orders against the students. If anyone needs to be removed from JNU for disrupting processes of university functioning, it is the VC himself. He has failed to run JNU and is only interested in destroying everything that the university community has achieved through years of struggle,” an official statement released by the student group said. They also accused Kumar of being part of “the RSS project to dismantle JNU”.