Teachers' body now seeks fresh inquiry into Feb 9 event

JNU Teachers’ Association on Thursday demanded a fresh inquiry into the controversial February 9 event and said the Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani’s submission in the Lok Sabha was based on a report from the varsity’s probe committee, which is not approved by it. 

The committee has asked the vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to co-opt a faculty member from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) category.

“JNUTA condemns if anti-India slogans were made during that event, while it also upholds the principle that the truth of the events of that date and fixing responsibility can only be established by a credible internal inquiry process,” the JNUTA said in a letter to faculty members. 

The teachers’ body president Ajay Patnaik said such a “credible process” was missing when the university appointed a three-member panel to probe the February 9 event. Days after the JNUTA raised objections, the university on Tuesday appointed two new senior faculty members to help the existing high-level inquiry committee investigate the event.  “The process of enquiry must start afresh and all decision of the previous committee must be deemed null and void.

“Specifically, this necessitates withdrawal of the office order dated February 12, 2016 (No. 115/CP/2016) and the actions based on that order of ‘academic suspension’ must be instantly revoked and the court must be informed of this action,” the letter said. 

Patnaik said the academic careers  of accused students are in jeopardy as the committee took decision “without evidence and based on a non-transparent process”. The body said a proper internal inquiry requires the university to get sedition and criminal conspiracy cases against alleged organisers of the event removed.

“The JNUTA also expresses its deep outrage at the claim of the university administration to the media that the video is evidence is authentic even though the Vice Chancellor himself has said in a meeting with teachers on 22nd February that the evidence is being sent for forensic examination,” the letter said. The JNUTA will do an hour long sit-in in front of the varsity’s administrative block from 4 pm every day.

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