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On Wall of Shame students take digs at JNU Registrar

Jawaharlal Nehru University registrar Bupinder Zutshi is the latest victim in the ongoing row over sedition charges against varsity students. Anonymous postcards with salutations such as ‘Hey Honey’, ‘Hey Mr Little Man’ and ‘Mr Registrar’ greeted him on the ‘Wall of Shame’ installed outside the JNU administrative block.

Zutshi’s role as the JNU registrar has invited criticism ever since the varsity allowed police to enter the campus and arrest the JNU students’ union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with the February 9 event commemorating the ‘judicial hanging’ of Afzal Guru, the 2001 Parliament attack convict.

“Hey Honey, if you feel you are being on a safe side just by putting your students’ lives at stake, you are not. When time comes, even you won’t be spared. Have a good night’s sleep now,” says a postcard written for me.

Earlier on Friday, a small group of students, who claimed they owed no allegiance to any student political outfit, were seen imploring people to write postcards conveying their message for the registrar.

JNU’s teacher and student unions have been baying for the registrar’s resignation, while holding him responsible for not holding a “credible inquiry” into the February 9 event, where students raised ‘anti-India’ slogans.

Some questions were more probing. “What will you trade off in return to do this to your university?” a student said in his letter, alleging him of “Nagpur allegiance”, a reference to RSS national headquarters.

“Everybody has certain rights, they can say what they want,” Zutshi said, adding that it is not his job to interfere with the inquiry process. In the past, he has been defended police entry on campus, saying that the “permission was given to the police to investigate the matter as per law of land”.

The organisers of the event claimed that installation of the “wall of shame” was “spontaneous idea”. “The university is not a village, a town, a city or even a country – in fact, it’s a whole universe in itself,” Arun Patel, a student, said.

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