JNU Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar on Wednesay termed as “unlawful” activity the ongoing indefinite hunger strike by students against punishment awarded by the varsity in connection with the February 9 event, and asked them to use “constitutional” means to put forth their demands.
The strike by two groups of students in protest against the punishment in connection with the event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, entered the seventh day on Wednesday.
While JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar complained of low BP on Tuesday, ABVP’s Saurabh Sharma, who was complainant of the Afzal Guru event, was rushed to AIIMS after his glucose level dipped.
“Hunger strike is an unlawful activity and a harmful method of protest that adversely affects the health and career of the students. The administration urges the students to use constitutional methods to put forth their demands, if any,” the VC said in an appeal to the students.
“The administration believes in dialogue and discussion to resolve any issue affecting functioning of the varsity and urges students to immediately call off the strike and come for discussion,” Kumar said.
While members of ABVP said that they will be meeting the VC today to put forth their demands, the members of the other protesting group maintained that they have no such plan and termed the administration’s appeal to be a “threat statement”.
Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were arrested in a sedition case in connection with the controversial 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 Hostel facilities of two students have been withdrawn and the university has declared the campus out of bounds for two former students.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, who is the lone ABVP member in JNU Students Union, has also been slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for blocking traffic.