A four member committee was formed on Monday by Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar. The committee has been formed to look into the demands of students who are on a hunger strike for past few days in the university. Students started hunger strike to oppose the punishment given to some students after the inquiry on February 9 event. Several students seem to have withdrawn because it was affecting their health a lot. Three students, Umar Khalid, Pratim Ghosal and Parthipan discontinued their fast because it was affecting their health. During the hunger strike, Umar’s sugar and potassium level fell suddenly and he was rushed to the hospital on Monday.
Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were rusticated by the University, after which they approached the Delhi High Court. The pleas have also been filed through Jawahar Raja and Tridip Pais (advocates). Umar and Anirban along with Kanhaiya Kumar were arrested in February but are out on bail now.
Students are demanding that the punishment given to students who were involved in the February 9 controversy needs to be cancelled. Last week also, the University had appealed to the students to not invite outsiders on the campus and had termed this hunger strike as an ‘unlawful activity’.
It has been 12 days since the students have gone on a hunger strike, along with that, the JNU Teacher’s Association (JNUTA) also started the hunger strike on Saturday. The University said, “The Vice Chancellor has decided to form a team consisting of Rector 1, Rector 2, Dean of students and Registrar to discuss issues related to students and teachers who have been on hunger strike.”
It further said, “Solutions can be found only through peaceful dialogue and discussion and not through measures that can also have long term impact on health and adversely affect the academic life on campus. The administration yet again appeals the students to end their strike and come forward to hold discussions of their demands.”
As of now, the students union has not taken a decision as to whether they are planning to negotiate with the administration or not.