5 JNU students withdraw from hunger strike, Kanhaiya critical
New Delhi: Five JNU students withdrew from the ongoing indefinite hunger strike against punishments by university in connection with the February 9 event, while JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar's condition was stated to be critical and rushed to varsity's health centre.
On day 8 of the strike in protest against the punishment in connection with the event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, five students withdrew from the protest citing deteriorating health conditions.
Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested in a sedition case over the event and is out on bail now, was taken to the JNU health centre in a semi-conscious state. The keytone levels and BP of other protesting students were also reported to be low, according to the test reports from the health centre.
"Kanhaiya's BP dropped to 56 and his glucose levels also dipped drastically. He has been vomitting since last night. He was taken to the health centre in a semi conscious state and the doctor warned him of chances of internal bleeding if he continues with the fast," a statement by JNU students union said.
"Since he has refused to call off the fast he is being administered saline drip. The health condition of others is also deteriorating. The keytone levels are low and there has been weight loss of 4-5 kgs in each of them but the spirit to fight is still on till we defeat the administration," it added.
A total of 25 students were on hunger strike since last Thursday. While 5 members of ABVP called off their fast yesterday claiming they have an assurance from JNU administration about consideration of their demands, five members of the Left-affiliated groups withdrew from the hunger strike due to health condition.
Terming the hunger strike as an 'unlawful' activity by two groups of students, JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar had appealed students to put forward their demands using 'constitutional' means and called them for a "dialogue" to resolve the matter.
While the Left-affiliated groups termed the meeting to be 'unfruitful', members of ABVP claimed that the varsity agreed to their demand of "reconsidering" the punishment and hence they called off the indefinite fast and will continue with relay strike.
Two other students-Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya-were arrested along with Kanhaiya in the sedition case. While Kanhaiya has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 10,000 on grounds of "indiscipline and misconduct", Umar, Anirban and 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.
Saurabh, who is the lone ABVP member in JNU Students Union, has also been slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for blocking traffic.