TT, New Delhi, May 7: JNU teachers and alumni today joined the students’ 10-day-old hunger strike but there was no response from the university administration.
The students are protesting the authorities’ “harsh” punishment of 19 students in connection with a February 9 campus demonstration against the 2013 hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
The JNU teachers’ association began an indefinite relay hunger strike from today while the alumni association joined the fast for a single day. State chapters of the alumni association held protests in eight cities, including Calcutta and Patna.
Teachers’ association secretary Bikramaditya Choudhary said the organisation’s hunger strike was in support of the students and in protest against the administration’s “threatening tactics” against the teachers’ body.
Yesterday, the JNU authorities had accused the teachers’ association of inviting outsiders to the campus, which it saw as detrimental to the academic atmosphere.
Unlike other days, journalists and other visitors to the campus had to fill in a register today. It sought details such as their identity, address and who they wanted to meet.
“The administration is trying to implicate the teachers’ association. We are protesting the threatening tactics to silence the voice of teachers,” Choudhary said.
He said the relay hunger strike would continue till the administration talked to the students and a solution was worked out. The students plan to continue their fast until the punishments are revoked.
Twenty students had begun the hunger strike on April 28 but seven, including Kanhaiya Kumar, have dropped out because of ill health. The conditions of the 13 currently on fast are stable.
Calcutta trip
A Delhi court today gave permission to Umar Khalid to visit Calcutta from May 20 to 23 and attend a May 21 panel discussion organised by the Bastar Solidarity Network, PTI adds.
The court had in its March 18 bail order asked Umar and Anirban Bhattacharya not to leave Delhi without its permission. Umar is participating in the hunger strike.

NEW DELHI: The indefinite hunger strike by JNU students entered the 10th day today even as students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar withdrew his fast due to medical reasons. 

So far, six students have withdrawn their fast against the punishment by the university in connection with the February 9 event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, while 14 others are continuing with the hunger strike. 

Kanhaiya, who is out on bail after his arrest in a sedition case, was yesterday discharged from AIIMS after treatment for mild dehydration and ketosis. 

“Kanhaiya was back on campus last night and due to his health condition doctors advised him to discontinue with the fast. He has been advised bed rest for few days and also has to undergo some medical tests. While he has withdrawn the fast, he will continue with the agitation,” a statement from the JNU Students Union said. 

The health reports of other fasting students mentioned high ketone levels, low BP and weight loss. 

JNU Teachers Association has today called for a relay hunger strike in protest against the administration. Alumni of the varsity will also join the protesting students and form a human chain today evening. 

The JNU administration had yesterday appealed the students and teachers to not invite outsiders saying it might vitiate the academic atmosphere and peace on campus. The administration also asked the students to refrain from using “direct or indirect coercive measures and come forward for dialogue and discussion”. 

Terming the hunger strike to be an “unlawful activity” JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar had earlier this week appealed to students to put forward their demands using “constitutional” means and asked them to come for a “dialogue” to resolve the matter. 

Five members of ABVP, who had also gone on hunger strike last week, called off their stir on Wednesday claiming they have got an assurance from the JNU administration that their demands will be considered. 

Two other students – Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya – were arrested along with Kanhaiya in the sedition case. 

While Kanhaiya has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 10,000, Umar, Anirban and a Kashmiri student, Mujeeb Gatoo have been rusticated for varying durations. Saurabh, who is the lone ABVP member in JNU Students Union, has also been slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 for blocking traffic .