The Jawaharlal Nehru University has served a show-cause notice to student activist Shehla Rashid and threatened her with disciplinary action for allegedly “spreading misinformation” on Twitter by claiming that the university had blocked some YouTube channels on its Wi-Fi network.
On November 11, 2017, Rashid had alleged on Twitter that Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar had “censored” the Wi-Fi, and that online searches for certain keywords were unsuccessful on the campus network. The university officials had denied the claim.
“This way of defaming the university is an act of indiscipline and misconduct,” the university has said in the notice that was issued on January 18. “You are hereby asked to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against you for indulging in the above act.” Rashid, the former vice president of the JNU Students’ Union, is a doctorate student at the university.
The university has asked Rashid to send her reply to the proctor’s office by Tuesday evening. Failing this, “it will be pressed that you have nothing to say in your defence and this office will be free to take appropriate action against you”, the notice read.
Rashid was sent a notice in December 2017 too for similar reasons. “This is probably the first notice anyone has received for posting on social media!” she had said on Twitter. “It’s not even in their purview!” Various other students had also demanded an inquiry into the complaints that YouTube channels of several news websites were blocked for a day.