Massive protest in JNU over fee hike; V-C leaves campus under security
New Delhi, Nov 11: Protests have erupted in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi over change is some policies of the varsity including the fee hike. The cops reportedly had to use water cannons to push the students back. Some clashes between the police and students were also reported.
"Shame on V-C" slogans reverberated across the varsity campus as the protesting students demanded a roll-back of fee hike. A number of students were also reportedly seen jostling with the cops. Many have posted videos of women police personnel pushing back girl students.
Students wanted to meet the V-C and demand a withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, which they claimed has provisions for fee hike, dress code and curfew timings. Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar is said to have left the campus under security cover without meeting the students.
"We urged the HRD minister to ask the V-C to have a dialogue with the students...It is due to the V-C that things have come to be like this," reports quoted the JNU Students Union president saying.
The protests have been going on for several days but intensified today.
The agitation is said to be over Draft Hostel Manual, which has provisions for a fee hike, curfew timings and dress code restrictions for students, said reports. The draft hostel manual is said to have been approved by the Inter-Hall administration.
"At least 40 per cent of students come from a poor background. How will they study here?" ANI quoted a protester as saying.
Students earlier wanted to march towards the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is addressing the university's convocation at an auditorium. The gates of the AICTE, around 3 km from the JNU, were locked and the security personnel were stationed in and outside the premises in wake of the protests that started in the morning. The students later reached the convocation area at around 11.30 am, a PTI report said.
According to a senior officer, the students broke barricades and marched towards the auditorium. Some of the protesters have been detained. The students were beating the tambourine and raising slogans, with placards in their hands, calling Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar a "thief".
"Delhi Police Go Back" slogans were also being raised. Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal is not being able to come out of the venue and the police are requesting the students to let him go. "JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and vice president Saket Moon were asked to talk to the students to make way for the HRD minister. Police requested the protesters to move from the gate, but they refused," an officer said.
The protest is part of the agitation against the hostel manual and several other issues like restrictions by the administration on entry to the Parthasarathy Rocks, attempts to lock students' union office, according to the students. The students' union has been on a strike against the draft hostel manual, which was approved by the inter-hall administration. They have said the strike would not end the hostel manual is withdrawn.