Call off hunger strike as matter is sub-judice: JNU to students

New Delhi: Hinting at limited scope of negotiations with students on the punishment in connection with the February 9 event, JNU on Wednesday asked students to call off the hunger strike saying the matter is sub-judice.

“The JNU Administration appeals to students to end the hunger strike immediately in view of some students moving to the High Court on the issue of the High Level Enquiry Committee Report related to the event on February 9,” the university said in a statement.

The varsity had earlier this week formed a four-member committee to look into demands of students protesting against punishments by JNU for involvement in the controversial event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

However, the panel may take a back seat after the two students – Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya – yesterday moved High Court against the punishment orders.

“The court has asked the university to deposit all the documents related to it for judicial scrutiny. Since the matter is sub judice, the administration will abide by the court ruling,” the varsity statement said.

Meanwhile, the indefinite hunger strike by the students entered 14th day today even as one more student had to withdraw the fast after she was admitted to AIIMS when her health deteriorated last night.

So far, 13 students, including JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, have withdrawn from the fast while 7 others are still continuing with the strike.

Hearing the petition, the Delhi High Court had yesterday issued a notice to JNU seeking its response and directed that date of deposit of the fine by Umar shall be extended till May 30, the next date of hearing.

An Academic Council meeting at the university was also adjourned yesterday amid a ruckus due to heated arguments between students, teachers and administration over the February 9 issue.

Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban were arrested in February in a sedition case over the event and are out on bail now.

While Kanhaiya has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 10,000, Umar, Anirban and a Kashmiri student, Mujeeb Gatoo have been rusticated for varying durations.

Financial penalty has been imposed on 14 students. Hostel facilities of?two students have been withdrawn and the university has declared the campus out of bounds for two former students.