JNU students, teachers plan bigger strike today

Want registrar to step down over 'mishandling' of row

Jawaharlal Nehru University student and teacher unions have called for a university strike, with five students accused of hosting the controversial February 9 event resurfacing on the JNU campus on Sunday night.

The JNU Teachers’ Union (JNUTA) has demanded resignation of the varsity registrar Bupinder Zutshi over alleged “mishandling” the JNU row. When approached for his reaction, Jutsi said, “No comments”.

He said the university administration has not been contacted by police in connection with the event to commemorate the “judicial hanging” of the 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) has planned for Tuesday a bigger protest than the one last week, where thousands marched to oppose the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been booked on charges of sedition.

According to Kanhaiya Kumar’s colleague Amrita, the All India Students Federation (AISF) leader urged JNU teachers whom he met in met in Tihar jail to prevent the BJP-led government from “diluting” the Rohith Vemula issue.

Earlier in January, Vemula, a Dailt student in Hyderabad University, committed suicide on January 18, for allegedly assaulting an ABVP leader last year. His suicide sparked protests on the JNU in Delhi.  

Khalid addresses supporters Kanhaiya Kumar’s friend, Amrita says over 10 buses have already been booked by his supporters for Tuesday’s protest near Jantar Mantar.

“Doston mera naam Umar Khalid hai, but I am not a terrorist,” said Khalid Umar, one of the prime accused in the February 9 incident, making a pun on the Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘My Name Is Khan’. He along with two others are the Delhi Police’s lookout list.

Khalid addressed student protesters outside the administration block that houses the offices of the vice chancellor and other top university bosses.

He rubbished media reports that he has visited Pakistan twice, besides showing displeasure over police calling him a “mastermind”.

He said according to a newspaper report, he had planned similar events across 18 universities.

Khalid, who earlier sported a beard in a video of the event that his ultra-Left Democratic Students Union (DSU) helped organise, appeared clean-shaven late night on Sunday. He had a shawl wrapped around him.

Later on Monday, a group of 300 teachers met vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, urging him to drop sedition and criminal conspiracy charges against the accused.

The JNUTA also wants immunity for students from “police raids” and reconstitution of the varsity probe panel to make it more “representative”. The five accused students resurfaced after police questioned journalists on the JNU row.
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