JNU Clarifies Protest Rules: Dharna Allowed In Designated Areas, Fines For Violations

JNU Clarifies Protest Rules: Dharna Allowed In Designated Areas, Fines For Violations

The clarification was made in response to criticism from the JNUSU student council on a recently published handbook that prohibited protests within the university's academic building.

Siksha MUpdated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 02:51 PM IST
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Jawaharlal Nehru University | JNU (Representational Pic)

Jawaharlal Nehru University has officially clarified the confusion around the prohibition on rallies on campus amid the uproar over the latest directive. The clarification was made in response to criticism from the JNUSU student council on a recently published handbook that prohibited protests within the university's academic building. 

Updated handbook

According to the updated Chief Proctor Office (CPO) handbook, students have been given permission to stage dharna protests in a new location, although the JNU administration has made it clear that protesting is not strictly prohibited. "We have not changed anything," it states. It further stated these regulations were in effect already, to make sure the educational process is not interfered with, we have just added a few more rules. Students can still demonstrate democratically in approved locations.

The handbook states that students are not permitted to stage dharnas, hold protests, or hang posters within 100 meters of the academic building. While participating in any "anti-national" conduct carries a penalty of Rs 10,000, protesting within the allowed boundaries might result in a fine of up to Rs 20,000 or possibly expulsion.

VC's words

Vice-Chancellor Santishree Pandit stressed that the university has long-standing policies in place to deal with wrongdoing. The manual's legal validity was intended to be ensured by the EC's recent approval. She made it clear that the fines are assessed for acts of indiscipline, including drug use, alcohol use, disobedience in dorms, and mistreatment of women. Since 1969, the proctor's office has been implementing measures, such as levying fines and rustications.

It is already against the law to hold protests in designated areas of the campus, and there is a punishment of Rs 20,000 for doing so. An anonymous official said that this rule was unanimously accepted by the university's executive council (EC) last month.

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