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Umar Khalid, two others rusticated, Kanhaiya fined for Afzal Guru function in JNU
Monday April 25, 2016 10:21 PM, Agencies

New Delhi:
Two months after they were sent to jail on charges of sedition, the JNU on Monday fined student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and rusticated Umar Khalid and two other students for taking part in an event to commemorate parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Umar was rusticated for one semester, another student leader Anirban Bhattacharya till July 15 and Mujeeb Gattoo for two semesters. As per decision, Bhattacharya has been barred from pursuing any course in JNU for next 5 years.

Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar have been fined Rs 20,000 and 10,000 on the recommendation of a university panel that investigated their role in a controversial on campus event in support of terrorist Afzal Guru.

JNU students union president Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban were arrested on charges of sedition in February in connection with the controversial event and are out on bail. Their arrest had triggered widespread protests.

The campus has been made out of bounds for two former students -- Banojyotsana Lahiri and Draupadi -- while hostel facilities have been withdrawn for Ashutosh Kumar for a year and Komal Mohite till July 21.

A high-level committee constituted by the university to probe the February 9 event found ABVP member Saurabh Sharma, who had objected to the event, "guilty" of blocking traffic on the day of the event and penalised him with Rs 20,000.

Surprisingly, Aishwarya Adhikari, whose name was not mentioned in the report, has also been imposed the same penalty.

"Based on the report of the high-level committee which arrived at its conclusion based on depositions, perusal of video clips (provided by JNU Security and authenticated by forensic tests), and examination of documents on record, the university has decided to rusticate three students," a senior university official told PTI.

"While Anirban Bhattacharya has been rusticated till 15 July, he will not be able to pursue any course or participate in any activity on campus for next five years, Umar Khalid has been rusticated for one semester and Mujeeb Gattoo for two semesters," the official said.

He said financial penalty has been imposed on 14 students including Kanhaiya who has been penalised with Rs 10,000.

While Umar and Anirban were found guilty of triggering communal violence and disrupting communal harmony on campus, Mujeeb was found guilty of participating in the sloganeering.

The university has accused the students of "arousing communal caste feelings, creating disharmony and colluding in the unauthorized entry of outsiders".

The row intensified after it emerged that the Delhi police had wrongly declared that it had video evidence of Kanhaiya Kumar making incendiary remarks against India. It was later alleged that the slogans were raised by "outsiders".

After his release in March, Kumar made a forceful speech in which he called for "Azaadi" (freedom) within India. In the past few weeks, he has toured universities where he has repeatedly attacked the government for what he describes as its divisive policies.

On Sunday, the 28-year-old was deplaned from a Mumbai-Pune flight after he alleged that a co-passenger, Manas Deka, tried to strangle him. Kumar alleged that Manas Deka, who works with IT-major TCS, is a BJP supporter and when he complained, the airline took no action but deplaned both of them.

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