JNU strike enters 5th day, altercation between ABVP and Left groups

New Delhi: The indefinite hunger strike at JNU against punishment to students by the university in connection with the controversial February 9 event, entered the fifth day on Monday and witnessed an altercation between ABVP and Left-affiliated groups on the campus.

ABVP member and president of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) Satender Awana visited the campus today and an heated argument broke out between him and protesting members from the other group.

While the Left groups alleged Awana abused and passed indecent remarks, he claimed that he had gone to express solidarity with the protesting group of ABVP and Left groups abused them.

Awana had kicked up a controversy in February for his remarks at a Jantar Mantar protest where he had said “if no action was taken against those who had raised anti-India slogans I will enter the campus and shoot the traitors.”

Fasting Saurabh Kumar Sharma of ABVP, who was complainant of the Afzal Guru event, claimed that his glucose level dipped on Monday following which he was referred to Safdarjung Hospital by the university health centre. He, was however, back on campus by evening and continued with his fast.

Two groups of students are sitting on indefinite hunger strike since Thursday in protest against the punishment announced by the university against various students in connection with the controversial event on campus during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were arrested in a sedition case in connection with the event. They are out on bail now. While Kanhaiya has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 10,000 on grounds of “indiscipline and misconduct”, Umar, Anirban and 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 Hostel facilities of two students have been withdrawn and the university has declared the campus out of bounds for two former students. Saurabh Sharma has also been slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for blocking traffic.

While Kanhaiya is travelling to Patna and Kerala and continuing with his fast, members of JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) will be joining the strike for one day on Tuesday in solidarity with the agitating students.