19 students from Jawaharlal Nehru University went on an indefinite hunger strike from April 28, to voice their protest against the punishments meted out to them by the administration over the February 9 event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
The high-level inquiry committee recommended the punishments to 17 students with penalties ranging from rustication to fines and leaving hostels. The students included JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khaled and Anirban Bhattacharya, who were arrested in February and charged with sedition. While Kanhaiya was slapped a fine of Rs 10,000, Anirban has been given rustication orders and Rs 20,000 fine and rustication was imposed on Umar.
Today, on May 10, the hunger strike has been continuing for the last 12 days.
So far as events have been reported:
- 19 students went on a hunger strike on April 28
- On May 7, Kanhaiya Kumar withdrew from the hunger strike due to medical reasons. He was reportedly treated at AIIMS for mild dehydration and ketosis.
- The teachers from the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) joined the hunger strike after the JNU administration released a letter asking teachers and students to not invite outsiders on the campus. The university alumni were also invited to be a part of it but not many turned up.
- On Monday, Umar Khalid was also rushed to AIIMS after his sugar, sodium and potassium levels fell significantly. A JNUSU statement reported that he had severe cramps from Sunday evening due to low sodium-potassium levels.
- So far, seven students have withdrawn from their hunger strikes, but they tend voice their protest against the administration
- To break the student-administration impasse, JNU has formed a four-member panel to discuss the matter. The administration appeals the students to end their strike and come forward to hold discussion of their demands.