New Delhi: JNU student Anirban Bhattacharya, who has been suspended from the university in connection with the February 9 Afzal Guru event, was today served a showcause notice by the varsity for his alleged involvement in a screening of "Muzaffarnagar abhi baqi hai" which was held last August.
"A complaint against you was received in Chief Proctor's office in August, 2015. It has been alleged that you were involved in participation in screening of a documentary-film 'Muzaffarnagar abhi baqi hai' without permission of the administration near Godvari dhaba," the notice read.
"You are directed to appear before the Proctor on May 4 and explain your position in this regard. You may also bring your evidence which you may wish to submit in your defence," it added.
Mr Bhattacharya along with JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid was arrested in a sedition case in connection with a controversial event on campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans have been allegedly raised. The trio are out on bail now.
Based on recommendations of a university probe panel, Mr Kumar has been penalised with Rs 10,000 and Mr Kahlid has been rusticated for one semester and slapped with fine of Rs 20,000.
Mr Bhattacharya has been rusticated from the university till July 15 and has been debarred from taking up any course or participating in any academic activity for five years beginning July 23. The eight-day window has been given to him for submission of his thesis, failing which he will have to start his PhD afresh at JNU, that too after five years.
Reacting to the showcause notice served to him nine months after the event, "there was an unfamiliar knock on the door. I was anticipating that they may come any time demanding that I vacate my hostel room as per the farcical order of rustication. But as I opened the door, I was honoured with, guess what, yet another notice from the proctor's office".
Calls and text messages to the Proctor seeking his reaction on why the notice has been sent after so long and at a time when he has already been rusticated, went unanswered. While both Mr Bhattacharya and Mr Khalid were found guilty by the university of arousing communal violence and disrupting harmony on campus, the different punishments awarded to them have been justified as "based on previous record of conduct" by the university.
Following protests by ABVP, JNU had in last August stopped the screening of documentary on the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots saying no permission was sought for the event.