Instruct Wards To Call Off Hunger Strike: JNU To Parents

12/05/2016 11:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - MAY 3: JNU students on day six of hunger strike protesting punishment given to them by the university authorities on May 3, 2016 in New Delhi, India. Representatives of both factions are sitting on a hunger strike. Students with Left affiliations are on a hunger strike protesting punishment given to them by the university authorities for the February 9 event held to commemorate Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Anti-national slogans were allegedly raised at the event. Students of the ABVP faction are on a hunger strike demanding the punishment against students be made more stringent. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The JNU administration has sent letters to parents of the students who are on an indefinite hunger strike against punishment imposed in connection with the February 9 event, asking them to instruct their wards to call off the fast.

Meanwhile, members of 40 women's rights and human welfare organisations have written to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking revocation of punishment to students in connection with the controversial event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Reacting to the letter sent to parents, fasting student Shweta Raj, who was admitted to AIIMS yesterday after her health deteriorated, said, "If the administration has courage it should talk to us and not scare our parents by sending them intimidating letters. We are adults and conscious activists".

The strike by students entered the 15th day on Thursday. So far, 13 students, including JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, have withdrawn from the fast while 7 others are still continuing with the strike.

While Umar and Anirban Bhattacharya had earlier this week moved Delhi High Court challenging the punishment, eight more students approached the court today over the issue.

The administration had yesterday appealed the students to call off the strike as the matter is now sub-judice.

The varsity had earlier this week formed a four-member committee to look into demands of agitating students, however, the panel may take a back seat after the students moving court.

Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban were arrested in February in a sedition case over the event and are out on bail now.

While Kanhaiya has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 10,000, Umar, Anirban and a Kashmiri student, Mujeeb Gatoo, have been rusticated for varying durations.

Financial penalty has been imposed on 14 students. Hostel facilities of two students have been withdrawn and the university has declared the campus out of bounds for two former students.

The organisations, which are signatory to the petition sent to the President, include All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA), All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA), All India Lawyers Union (AILU), All India Tanzeem-e-insaaf, All India Union of forest working people, Aman Biradari, Anhad, Citymakers Mission International, Delhi Asangathit Nirman Mazdoor Union (DANMU), Delhi Solidarity Group and Democratic Teachers' Front among others.

"We the undersigned are deeply distressed by the openly vindictive, unlawful and unjust attempts by JNU administration, to suppress dissenting perspectives by university students.

"We urge you in your capacity as the head of the Indian nation as well as Visitor to the university to kindly intercede with utmost urgency to annul the enquiry report and the unlawful and unjust punishments awarded by the JNU administration," the petition said.

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