A day after Wardha Collector Vivek Bhimanwar said the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (MGAHV) had no authority to invoke the Model Code of Conduct, the expulsion of six students for organising a function without permission on campus and writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over mob-lynching and rape-accused political leaders was revoked on Sunday.
The students, from MGAHV, were expelled on October 9 after university officials accused them of violating the MCC in force state-wide for the October 21 Assembly polls. The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Vice-Chancellor Rajneesh Shukla, Executive Registrar Kadar Nawaz Khan, deans of all the departments, proctor and five wardens of the hostel on Sunday.
The students had planned a gathering at Gandhi Hill in the university campus on October 9 to mark BSP founder Kanshi Ram’s death anniversary. They went ahead with the programme despite being denied permission by university officials and were later that night given expulsion orders after being accused of violating the poll code, one of the six students said.
In its order on Sunday, MGAHV Acting Registrar Kadar Nawaj Khan said the expulsion was cancelled due to “technical anomalies” and in view of natural justice to students.
“The decision to revoke the expulsions was taken by taking into consideration the future of the students and to keep up the atmosphere of discipline and learning on the campus,” V-C Shukla said in a statement on Sunday. “In educational institutes, if we punish the students for their mistakes, then we also try to bring about improvement in them and make available maximum opportunities of education to them,” he said.
“After today’s meeting, it has been decided to constitute an inquiry committee to investigate the broad reasons of the (October 9) incident, to identify the persons participating in the incident, and to listen to the students concerned. The committee will have teachers and (university) officials representing all sections as members,” he said.
On October 10, a day after they were expelled, the six posted a letter to PM Modi, one of the students said. The letter written to PM Modi by Neeraj Kumar, Rajesh Sarthi, Pankaj Vela, Vaibhav Pimpalkar Chandan Suraj and Rajneesh Kumar Ambedkar, was in protest to Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, increasing incidents of mob-lynching, and the alleged shielding of rape-accused politicians.
Two of the six students in their statement said, “It is a vindication of our stand that we have the right to express our opinion and take a stand on issues. It is a victory for all those who stood by us. But who will pay for the torment that we have undergone? We feel we were picked because we are from backward castes.”
The students had claimed that the university officials had denied them permission to write to the PM but had not mentioned anything about the code of conduct. The expulsion had caused widespread resentment in the students’ community as well as Opposition parties like the Congress which had complained to Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer against university officials.