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Twitter handle bearing new JNU V-C’s name deleted, old tweets on ‘genocide’, slamming students emerged

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Soon after the Union Ministry of Education appointed Professor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit as new vice-chancellor (V-C) of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), old tweets criticising JNU students, farmer and supporting the BJP government, purportedly posted by a Twitter handle carrying her name, were shared widely on social media. Her appointment was announced on February 7.

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Pandit, known for her proximity with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has backed calls for genocide and attacks on students and farmers in the recent past. 

While one of her tweets refers to PhD scholar from JNU Sharjeel Imam – who is currently behind the bars in link with a sedition case, as a “jihadi produced by IIT-B and JNU”, while her another tweet calls JNU students “losers”. She also expresses opposition to the farmers’ movement. Hours after the tweets went viral Monday, the account was deleted, though screenshots are still doing the rounds on social media. 

However, it was not immediately clear whether the account belonged to Pandit, but there were some personal tweets like one allegedly carrying a photograph of her’s mother proved otherwise. The tweets were posted from an unverified handle @SantishreeD, which had her full name, but carried a photo of a goddess as the display picture, not her own. There have been no tweets from the account since May 2021.

Pandit’s frequent interactions with pro-BJP and pro-RSS handles

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As per a media report, regular interactions were taking place between Pandit and pro-BJP, pro-RSS handles, also criticism of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Congress, and Left-leaning intellectuals were widely shared on her Twitter account. 

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair also shared screenshots of old tweets, posted from @SantishreeD account in 2015, that referred to Sunni Islam as “radical”. 

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Mr. Zubair also shared a screenshot of a tweet, posted by the same account, in support of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, “I would agree both Gandhi and Godse, both read Gita and believed and took opposite lessons. Godse thought action was important and identified the solution for a United India in the assassination of one person Mahatma Gandhi. Sad (sic),” it said. 

Another viral tweet read: “If BJP is party of Godse then all parties that support Muslims like TMC is a party of all terrorists, invaders who raped and destroyed Hindu sacred spaces. They support the butchers of Bengal.” 

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