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Proctoral inquiry report says the students were “found guilty” of cooking biryani near Administrative Building and eating it, conduct “unbecoming” of a JNU student

There seems to be no end to the bizarre goings-on at the premier Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

According to reports, four students of the varsity were fined between Rs 6000 and Rs 10000 on November 8 for cooking and consuming biryani near the Administrative Block building of the campus almost six months ago, something that a proctoral inquiry has dubbed as a serious act that is “unbecoming of a student of JNU” that calls for “strict disciplinary action”:

The peculiar order comes at a time when the prestigious university’s reputation has taken a beating largely because of recurring flashpoints between students and the varsity administration, especially its vice chancellor and officials close to him. In July this year, JNU vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar had evoked sharp criticism for requesting the central government to install a defunct Army tank in the university campus in order to “instill patriotism” and “remind thousands of students about the great sacrifices and valour of our Indian Army”.

In this latest incident, three Jawaharlal Nehru University students – Chepal Sherpa, Amir Malik and Manish Kumar – have been fined Rs 6000 each whereas former JNU Students’ Union general secretary Satarupa Chakraborty was fined Rs 10,000 for cooking and eating biryani near the campus’ administrative building.

The incident dates back to June 27, when then JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and Chakraborty had approached the VC office to raise some issues concerning students. Reportedly after the VC refused to meet them, they stayed near the Administrative Block overnight demanding an audience with Jagadesh Kumar and cooked also biryani.

An order dated November 8, issued by the Chief Proctor, Kaushal Kumar, said: “In the proctoral enquiry you have been found guilty of being involved in cooking food (biryani) near the stairs in front of the Administrative Building and eating it thereafter along with other students… This act is serious in nature, unbecoming of a student of JNU and calls for strict disciplinary action”.

The order has set a deadline of 10 days for the students to pay the fine, failing which they have been warned of stringent action.

A higher fine was imposed on Chakraborty apparently for “leading the protest demonstration along with slogan shouting against vice chancellor, administration and Professor Atul Johri, and sitting inside the VC’s office… even after repeated requests from CSO (Chief Security Officer) and security personnel”.

In her defence, Chakraborty said: “Does a university proctor office run to monitor who cooks and eats biryani in a residential campus like JNU, where such activities are a well-cherished practice, part of the culture and help build a community bond among students coming from all across the country?”

The JNU administration and the Delhi High Court had earlier banned protests within 100 metres of the campus’ administrative block.

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