Rusticated JNU student says will approach court

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New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Terming his rustication farcical, student-activist Umar Khalid on Friday said he will challenge JNU’s decision in court and rejected the enquiry “along with its findings and verdict”.

Although no official from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has yet confirmed it, according to sources a high level enquiry on Thursday found Khalid, along with Kanhaiya Kumar and Anirban Bhattacharya, guilty in the February 2016 incidence in which a group of students were alleged to have raised “anti-national” slogans.

Kumar, a member of Communist Party of India’s student wing, was the president of the varsity’s student union that year.

As per information from unofficial sources, his punishment of fine of Rs 10,000 has been upheld in the latest enquiry decision, while Bhattacharya is announced as ‘rusticated’ after two years of his completing his Ph.D.

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“I want to state categorically that we all are being targeted in a systematic and a mala fide manner by an enquiry that was prejudiced against us from the beginning. An administration that is being run at the orders of the ruling BJP and the RSS, was at no point of time in a position of impartiality to conduct this enquiry,” Khalid wrote on his Facebook account.

“We once again reject this farce of an enquiry along with its findings and verdict. It is against all principles of natural justice and is riddled with contradictions, lies and malice which will soon be exposed again. We will once again challenge this in court,” he added.

Khalid pointed out that similar orders of his rustication adjudicated by a varsity panel were earlier set aside by the court.

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The three student-activists were accused — though none yet chargesheeted by police — of raising slogans against the integrity of India during a poetry-reading gathering of students at Sabarmati Dhaba inside the JNU campus on February 9, 2016.

The Delhi Police arrested Kumar from campus few days after the incidence, invoking the sedition law, while Khalid and Bhattacharya, along with three other students, went into hiding.

The event was followed by a chain of student protests across India in solidarity with the students, who decried the acts of fabrication of evidence against them and anachronistic character of the sedition law dating back to 1860.

–IANS

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