New Delhi, Feb. 22: A Dalit scholar whom Hyderabad Central University had punished along with Rohith Vemula today accused Jawaharlal Nehru University of flouting University Grants Commission guidelines by allowing the police to crack down on its students.
“The guidelines said that students were entitled to freedom of expression, and that the institutions must allow space for a free exchange of ideas and public debates,” Dontha Prasanth told a news conference here.
Prasanth, Rohith and three other Dalit PhD scholars had been suspended from their hostels and university common areas in December for allegedly beating up a leader of Sangh student arm ABVP. The suspensions were lifted after Rohith committed suicide.
Prasanth said JNU had violated the guidelines in spirit by letting the police enter the campus and arrest Kanhaiya Kumar on February 12 on sedition charges in connection with a protest branded “anti-national”.
According to the “Guidelines on Students’ Entitlements in Higher Educational Institutions”, issued by the higher education regulator in 2013, a college or university cannot impose unreasonable, partisan or arbitrary restrictions on organising seminars, lectures or debates that do not violate the law.