- JNU student Umar Khalid suspended for a semester, Kanhaiya Kumar fined
- Students to start a relay hunger strike from Wednesday against the action
- The students were charged with sedition for a pro-Afzal Guru event in Feb
The students and their supporters have declared they will start a relay hunger strike and protests tomorrow against the penal action announced by the authorities based on the recommendations of a university-appointed committee.
"It is a casteist inquiry committee. We don't believe the committee nor the penalties imposed, which is why we will burn the report," Mr Kumar, who was flanked by Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya - who have been removed for six months, said at a press conference on campus this afternoon.
The three were arrested after being charged with sedition for an event in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Some participants shouted anti-national slogans at the February 9 even held on campus after which Mr Kumar was arrested and the other two surrendered days later.
Mr Kumar ruled out going to court against the committee's recommendations. "We had objected to the high level committee earlier. It wasn't a Democratic committee...The head (of the committee) Rakesh Bhatnagar ran a movement called India Against Reservation," he said.
The penalised students alleged that they were neither given the full report not told of the exact charges against them.
"Umar and Anirban never got a chance to put their perspective in front of the committee, since report was submitted while they were in jail," Mr Kumar said.
The university had yesterday accused the students of "arousing communal caste feelings, creating disharmony and colluding in the unauthorized entry of outsiders."
Earlier in the day, the Left parties raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha seeking a discussion. CPI lawmaker D Raja said in the Upper House that the university's decision was "not acceptable." Describing it as a "revengeful act on students", Mr Raja said "Parliament cannot sit like mute spectators" leading to commotion in the Rajya Sabha. "What happens in the university is our responsibility because we pass the act," CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said in the House.
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