A proctorial inquiry committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here has issued show cause notices to around 15 students for staging a gherao, which "disrupted the normal functioning" of the university administration early this year.
The committee has also observed that staging the gherao was an act of "indiscipline" and "misconduct".
The allegation has, however, been denied by the students. The notice issued to the students said, "You have been found guilty in the following acts of indiscipline -- sitting in room no. 225 of the Administration Block the whole night of February 27, despite a request by the security persons to vacate."
If the students fail to defend themselves, they will have to face punishments, including cancellation of admission, withdrawal of degree, fines up to Rs 20,000 and rustication for two semesters, depending on the charges slapped against them.
"Your reply should reach this office latest by October 25 (5 pm), failing which it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in your defence and this office will be free to take appropriate action against you," the notice said.
JNU Chief Proctor Kaushal Kumar Sharma did not respond to calls or messages from PTI.
However, the students quashed the allegations and claimed that they were targeted for staging protests against the implementation of the UGC gazette, which resulted in seat cuts.
"I have been proved guilty without being shown evidence and without being given a chance to defend myself," said one of the students.
Former JNU Students' Union general secretary Satarupa Chakraborty alleged that the university administration was trying to instill a sense of fear among the students and discourage them from raising voice against any injustice through heavy fines, hostel transfers, suspension and blocking of academic activities.
"In the name of the UGC Gazette, they (administration) blocked the admission of nearly 1,000 students from deprived backgrounds," she said.