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Instruct wards to call off hunger strike: JNU to parents

Source: PTI
May 13, 2016 04:01 IST
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The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has sent letters to parents of the students who are on an indefinite hunger strike against punishment imposed in connection with the February 9 event, asking them to instruct their wards to call off the fast and adopt "constitutional" means.

On 15th day of the strike on Thursday, three more students including Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad rebel Pradeep Narwal, who had quit the students' outfit in February citing difference over handling of the issue by the Bharatiya Janata Party, joined the indefinite fast.

Other two students are JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora and former JNUSU President Ashutosh who has been debarred from the hostel for one year.

Meanwhile, members of 40 women's rights and human welfare organisations have written to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking revocation of punishment to students in connection with the controversial event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Reacting to the letter sent to parents, fasting student Shweta Raj, who was admitted to AIIMS on Wednesday after her health deteriorated, said "if the administration has courage it should talk to us and not scare our parents by sending them intimidating letters. We are adults and conscious activists".

So far, 13 students, including JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, have withdrawn from the fast while 7 others are still continuing with the strike.

While Umar and Anirban Bhattacharya had earlier this week moved the Delhi high court challenging the punishment, eight more students approached the court on Thursday over the issue.

The administration had yesterday appealed to the students to call off the strike as the matter is sub-judice.

The varsity had earlier this week formed a four-member committee to look into demands of agitating students.

Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban were arrested in February in a sedition case over the event and are out on bail now.

While Kanhaiya has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 10,000, Umar, Anirban and a 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 Hostel facilities of two students have been withdrawn and the university has declared the campus out of bounds for two former students. 

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