Shehla Rashid slammed with show cause notice from JNU for spreading misinformation
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has issued a show cause notice to former JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) vice-president Shehla Rashid for allegedly “defaming” the university by spreading “misinformation” on the internet regarding alleged internet censorship by the administration.
She had earlier received a notice in this regard on December 7, 2017. “This is probably the first notice anyone has received for posting on social media! It’s not even in their purview!!” Rashid had then tweeted.
“In the proctorial enquiry, you have been found spreading misinformation on social media site (Twitter) regarding content blocking on the JNU campus Wi-Fi. This way of defaming the university administration is an act of indiscipline and misconduct. You are hereby asked to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against you for indulging in the above act,” said the notice dated January 18 by the Chief Proctor.
“Your reply should reach this office latest by January 23 failing which it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in your defense and this office will be free to take appropriate action against you,” it said.
Rashid said she had sent her “sharply-worded” response to the Chief Proctor’s office. “This is just routine harassment of activists. They have put a ban on protests in campus and now they’re going after activists in the virtual space where they actually have no jurisdiction. When BJP leaders say that condoms and liquor bottles are found in JNU, then the administration doesn’t go after them for defamation; why do they go after activists?” she told the Indian Express.
Demanding that the administration withdraw the notice, the JNUSU in a statement said the notice to Rashid was “yet another dangerous addition” to the spate of notices issued to students recently including cooking biryani outside the Administrative Block and seeking an appointment with the VC.
“All these notices and punishment confirm the malicious intention of JNU VC and his administration, who are taking and implementing orders from their political masters and misusing their administrative power to muzzle every voice of criticism and dissent,” said JNUSU president Geeta Kumari.
The notice pertains to a tweet made by Rashid on November 11, 2017, which said, “JNU administration, headed by RSS man @mamidala90, has censored JNU WiFi. Students can’t access content from AIB, The Wire, NDTV, YouTube videos related to student movements. Keyword search related to Mamata Bannerjee, Rahul Gandhi, Shehla Rashid, Kejriwal, Kanhaiya censored!!!”