Entire JNU community supporting me: Vice chancellor

New Delhi : Jawaharlal Nehru University vice chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar on Monday said there were no differences within the university and the entire JNU community was supporting him.

“There is no rift within the university. The entire JNU community is supporting me,” Jagadesh Kumar told IANS as hundreds of students and teachers protested outside his office building over the arrest of students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

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Kanhaiya Kumar and seven other students have been debarred from attending classes by the university, though they are being allowed to stay at the hostels.

The vice chancellor defended the decision, saying it was done on the recommendations of the inquiry committee.

“The committee prima facie found some evidence against eight students and recommended that those students should be debarred from academic activities. We acted on that,” Jagadesh Kumar told IANS, adding that further action would be taken after the committee submits its final report.

He said police were not called in by the university.

“We did not call police. Police sent us a letter saying that an FIR had been lodged against some unnamed people on sedition charges and that they wanted our cooperation in investigating the incident. We only allowed them to enter as per the law to perform their duties,” Jagadesh Kumar said.

Meanwhile, several members of the JNU teachers association expressed reservations about the inquiry committee’s composition and asked the vice chancellor to form a new committee. The vice chancellor has refused to entertain the plea.

“The committee can’t be changed just because a few people are not happy with it. A lot of other faculty members are supporting it,” he insisted.

On any further action against the students identified in the preliminary inquiry report, including Kanhaiya Kumar, the vice chancellor said “university procedure would be followed” after the committee submits its final report.

He did not rule out the possibility of rustication.

The committee, comprising professors Rakesh Bhatnagar, Himadri Bohidar and Suman K. Dhar, is likely to submit its final report in two weeks.