New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) today sent a "status" report to the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development on the situation in the campus and the action taken by the varsity in the aftermath of an event to commemorate the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, during which anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.
The report follows a directive by the HRD ministry last week seeking information on the February 9 incident which sparked widespread outrage among various quarters.
In its report, JNU has detailed the sequence of events – both prior to and after the event. According to the report, four students, viz., Umar Khalid, Komal, Anirban and Awasthy sought permission of the Dean of the Students for organising an event titled "Poetry reading - The country without Post-Office" on February 9.
However, it soon came to the notice of university authorities that the poster for the event was captioned: "Against the Brahminical Collective conscience, against Judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat in Solidarity with the struggle of the Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self determination".
Following this revelation, the Vice-Chancellor immediately convened a meeting of the Registrar, Chief Security Officer, Dean of Students and the Chief Proctor. Following the meeting, the Dean of students told the CSO to inform the students organizing the event that the permission for holding the event has been withdrawn.
According to the varsity, the organizers went ahead with the programme despite being informed by the security staff that the permission has been withdrawn. According to the JNU's report, “the organizers invited the media to cover the programme without permission from the university authorities”.
After reports that certain anti-India slogans were raised during the event, university authorities soon constituted a High Level Enquiry Committee of three senior faculty members on February 10, 2016, to enquire into the whole incident. The committee is expected to submit its final report by February 25, 2016.
The report also takes note of the process adopted prior to police officials making their way inside the university campus. “On February 11, the Deputy Police Commissioner, South Delhi, contacted the Security officer and sent a letter stating that anti-national sentiments were voiced by some students of the University and also sought permission for the police to enter the premises to take necessary steps. Permission was given to the Police to investigate the matter as per law of land,” the report said.
The report further confirmed that eight students identified by the panel have been debarred from academic activities. However, they have been allowed to stay in the hostel as guests.
The report by the varsity also discussed apprehensions of faculty members about the police presence on campus. According to the report, this was discussed with representatives and a letter was sent to the police requesting them to take utmost precautions before entering the university campus if required under law.
“The police officers assured that they will enter only if absolutely necessary and that the university authorities will be informed in advance,” it added.