17 March 2016| 5:00 PM: Shehla Rashid, VP, JNUSU addressed the gathering calling the HLEC set up to investigate the ‘sedition’ charges “a staged enquiry committee”, she also held it responsible for the “witch-hunt” happening at JNU. She pointed out how ABVP has not been mentioned in the notice issued, how media seems to know more about the decisions of the HLEC than the students implicated or the teachers, how it lacks specific information on the kind of action that will be mandated against the defaulters, the charges, the indentified violations under the JNU constitution of which the named students are guilty, lack of references and the extent of punishments likely to be meted out.
She said, Aishwariya Adhikari, GSCASH Rep. who was suspended for a month, recently discovered that her name has not been mentioned among the absconding students by the HLEC. This shows the arbitrary manner in which action is being taken against students. Also, when JNUSU President was released on bail, the committee provided him with one week to depose before them, Kanhaiya however as earlier decided by JNUSU, did not comply. Nonetheless, the committee had already submitted its report a day before he was released, which shows how, the summoning, was a sham.
She also questioned the timing of the publication of news on the rustication of students and the issuing of show cause notices on the media and the newspapers, which coincided with the date when Umar and Anirban were suppose to file their application for bail. She said, that JNUSU will continue its fight till there is transparency in the matters concerning the enquiry. She said they are also hopeful of getting some positive result tomorrow, when the decision regarding the bail plea will be announced.
JNUSU is holding a protest at the Freedom Square at 2 PM, against the nebulous manner of enquiry. The 21 students who have been issued show cause notice have refused to respond to the notice issued, till fair amount of information on the proceedings, charges, and the nature and extent of disciplinary action that will be taken against them, is furnished.
Regarding the future course of action, she announced that JNUSU has planned to take the movement across every state and district, for which a committee will be formed comprising of students from various regions who will publicize and spread awareness about the issue. The Union is also working to set up student leaders/activists across the country in different institutions, colleges and universities to garner more support and participation. There will also be another series of open-lectures following the lectures on ‘Nation and Nationalism’ to generate discussions on the topic of freedom, sedition and dissent.
The Informer correspondent
Photo Source: The Deccan Chronicle