The JNU on Monday issued show-cause notice to 21 students after an inquiry panel found them "guilty of violating" norms in connection with the event on campus against hanging of Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
The decision was taken on Monday at a meeting of the university's top brass chaired by Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar in which the report of the five-member inquiry panel probing the issue was discussed.
"As per the report some students were found guilty of violating the university rules and discipline norms. It was decided to issue show-cause notices to 21 of them and they have been given time till March 16," a senior university official told PTI.
While the official did not divulge names of the students, highly-placed sources in the university said those issued show-cause notices include the eight students who were debarred earlier in connection with the case and ten of those about whom police had sought information from the university.
"There are standard provisions in the university rules to take action in such cases. The high level inquiry committee recommendations are based on the rules of discipline and proper conduct of JNU.
"On basis of the responses from the students, a final decision in this regard will be taken," the official said.
The university had on March 11 revoked the academic suspension of eight students including its students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with the controversial event at its campus to protest the hanging of Afzal Guru.
The suspension was revoked after a high-level committee of the university probing the issue submitted its report to JNU authorities. The varsity, had also clarified that it does not signify a "clean chit" to the students and that the final decision in this regard will be taken after examination of the report by the Vice Chancellor.
The five-member panel was constituted on February 10 by the university, a day after an event to protest the hanging of the Parliament attack convict on his third death anniversary was held during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. The eight students were suspended on February 12.
On the basis of a preliminary report by the panel, the varsity had debarred the eight students from academic activity while allowing them to stay as guests in hostels till the inquiry proceedings were over.
The committee has faced a series of hiccups since its constitution. While the varsity's proctorial committee was first given the task to probe the issue, a day later it was replaced by a high-level committee.
The committee initially had three members but under pressure from teachers and students for broadening its scope, the university had added two more members to the panel.
The panel, which was granted three extensions before it finally submitted its report, also faced a challenge with the students refusing to depose before it demanding that the enquiry be constituted afresh.
The varsity, however, turned down the demand and maintained that the students will be given three chances to appear before the disciplinary committee and if they fail to do so the committee will finalise its recommendations on the basis of the evidence, eyewitness accounts, students' deposition (if any) and material available on hand.
Besides Kumar, the eight suspended students included Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh, Rama Naga, Anant Kumar, Shweta Raj and Aishwarya Adhikari.
While Kanhaiya was granted bail in a sedition case over the event last week, Umar and Anirban are still in custody.
Feature image source: PTI