Opposition in Rajya Sabha condemns rustication of JNU students

New Delhi: The opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday condemned the rustication of three students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) the action.

Raising the issue, CPI-M member Tapan Kumar Sen described the punitive action of the JNU the "most arrogant, anti-democratic act being patronised by the government".

"Rusticating them, debarring them for five years and thereby taking vengeance against their educational career in a very unjust manner - this is a part of this government's project," Sen said.

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury sought a proper debate on the issue.

CPI leader D. Raja also raised the issue.

"This house cannot be a mute spectator when such things are happening in JNU. This is very vindictive, revengeful action," Raja said.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said that the universities are autonomous.

Yechury countered that statement, saying the university has been established by an act of parliament.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad supported the Left leaders in decrying the punitive action taken by the university.

"Universities' atmosphere is being vitiated. It is the HRD ministry which is responsible," Congress leader Anand Sharma said.

The JNU on Monday fined students union president Kanhaiya Kumar and rusticated three other students for taking part in an event to commemorate parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

While Kanhaiya Kumar was fined Rs.10,000, Anirban Bhattacharya was rusticated till July 15 and barred from the university from July 25 for five years. He can submit his Phd in the July 15-25 period.

Bhattacharya and Umar Khalid will lose a semester of their academic session while Mujeeb Gattoo, another student, has been suspended for two semesters, an order from the university proctor said.

Khalid also must cough up Rs.20,000 in fine by May 13.

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