New Delhi, Feb 23: Amid demands from teachers and students that the JNU administration should seek JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s release and dropping of sedition charge, the varsity today said both the issues are beyond its control. The varsity authorities also said that they are receiving messages from across the country requesting “firm action” so that similar incidents don’t happen in future. “We have not arrested Kanhaiya, we have also not charged anyone with sedition. It is for the police and court to take a call in this matter. Both these demands are beyond our control,” JNU Registrar Bhupinder Zutshi told PTI. Also Read: Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal join students protest over JNU, Rohith Vemula issues
JNU students and teachers yesterday appealed to Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to take a stand in favour of the five students who were being looked for by the police in a sedition case and surfaced on the campus after being on the run for over 10 days. A meeting of the top JNU officials, chaired by VC yesterday, deliberated on return of the five students to the campus but could not take a decision whether police should be allowed to enter the campus to arrest them or the students should be asked to surrender.
“Police have not approached us so far for any permission to enter the campus for arrest of these students. Neither we have approached them,” Zutshi said. The Vice Chancellor had also called a meeting of Deans of all the schools and chairpersons of all the special centres to apprise them about steps being taken to restore normalcy on campus. “The VC also had a discussion with staff and Karamcharis association who condemned the ‘unlawful’ activities and asked the administration to take effective steps,” he added.
The five students, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, JNUSU General Secretary Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anant Prakash had gone missing from the campus since February 12 after Kanhaiya was arrested on sedition charge for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in a controversial event at the campus. They had yesterday refused to surrender, saying they are ready to be arrested but police officials maintained that their team kept waiting outside the varsity premises for permission from the VC.