Students’ Reactions When JNU Forbids Protests on Campus and Implies up to a ₹20,000 Fine or even Expulsion


Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has introduced a manual that imposes penalties, including fines of up to ₹20,000 or expulsion, for activities such as putting up wall posters and organising protests within a 100-metre radius of academic buildings. The Chief Proctor Office (CPO) manual, approved by the university’s Executive Council on November 24, extends the prohibition on protests within 100 metres of the administrative blocks to academic buildings where classes are held. The manual also outlines consequences for organising events without prior permission and prohibits any form of protest near the residence of any university member.

The move follows an incident in October where an “anti-national” slogan was scribbled on the School of Languages building, prompting the formation of a committee to address repeated incidents on campus. The Vice-Chancellor has the authority to designate an act as punishable if it is deemed a violation of the university’s discipline and conduct. Penalties include fines for acts that are considered derogatory, anti-national, or that incite intolerance.

Students found involved in hunger strikes, dharnas, or protests within a 100-metre radius of academic and administrative complexes may face fines, eviction from the hostel, or rustication. The administration will send a copy of the imposed punishment to the student’s parents or guardian and publish it on the official website. The new rules have faced criticism from students and the JNU Students Union, which stated that the “stringent measures outlined in the manual are aimed at stifling the vibrant campus culture that has defined JNU for decades.”

The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Bhartiya Janata Party, called the manual a “tyrannical fallout of incompetent and corrupt JNU administration.” The Vice-Chancellor claimed the rules have always been in place since 1969 and have only been “fine-tuned.” Some teachers alleged that the detailed perspective was not given to the council on the new manual and the process of passing it was not followed before notifying it officially.

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