Afzal Guru row: JNU panel holds 21 students guilty

New Delhi: The appellate authority, which heard the pleas of the 21 JNU students who were penalised in connection with the controversial February 9 event, has found all of them guilty of indiscipline even as the financial penalty imposed on some of them has been reduced.

“The panel has found guilty the 21 students who were penalised in connection with the February 9 event. The punishment still stands, but fine imposed on a few students has been reduced. Fresh letters informing them of the decision have been issued,” a source said.

The punishment granted to Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya remained same while there was no clarity on JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s punishment, according to the source.

The trio were arrested in a sedition case over the event on campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised and are now out on bail.

Students given some relief in the financial penalty include Rama Naga who has been asked to pay Rs 10,000 instead of Rs 20,000, Ashutosh Kumar Rs 15,000 instead of Rs 20,000 and Saurabh Sharma, the ABVP member who had complained against the February 9 event, Rs 5,000 instead of Rs 10,000.

In the light of the recommendation of the High Level Enquiry Committee and subsequent recommendation of the panel constituted to assist the appellate authority, the university had yesterday informed that the Vice Chancellor has come to a conclusion and has taken the final decision on the appeals made by the students.

The 21 students were slapped with varied punishments ranging from rustication, hostel debarment to financial penalty on basis of the probe by the HLEC which found them guilty of violation of disciplinary norms.

The students had gone on an indefinite hunger strike against the decision which lasted for 16 days.

As the varsity refused to relent and withdraw the punitive action proposed against the students despite their failing health, some students had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the action.

Following this, the high court had issued directions to JNUSU to immediately withdraw the hunger strike and not to launch any fresh agitation.

It had stayed action against the students till their appeals were decided by the appellate authority.

JNU had then formed a four-member committee to hear the appeals of those who had been found guilty of indiscipline by the varsity probe panel.