The issue of rustication of three Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students and slapping of fine on students union leader Kanhaiya Kumar was raised in Rajya Sabha by the Left parties, which termed the action as vindictive and vengeful.
When the House started proceedings after some new members took oath and the listed papers were laid on the table, Tapan Kumar Sen (CPI-M) said he had given notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to raise the “serious issue” of “arrogant” and “anti-democratic” actions by JNU authorities.
He termed the rustication of Umar Khalid for one semester, Anirban Bhattacharya till July 15 and Kashmir student Mujeeb Gattoo for two semesters as well as the Rs 10,000 fine on Kanhaiya Kumar as “vindictive and vengeful” action taken in an “unjust manner”.
“This is part of government’s project to tamper with the rights of citizens… In the name of Constitution, they are tampering with the Constitution itself,” Sen said.
The students were penalised for taking part at an event in JNU where slogans were raised in support of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged in February 2013.
D Raja (CPI) said Parliament cannot remain a mute spectator to the university rusticating students in a vindictive manner on the basis of “doctored and false” videos.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien expunged certain remarks of Raja against the university saying since its representatives cannot defend themselves, such harsh words should not be used.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “we totally support whatever our colleagues have said.”
Anand Sharma (Cong) said “we are worried how the atmosphere in one after the other university is being vitiated.”