Protesting JNU students clash with police; cops use water cannons
A violent clash broke out between police personnel and students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday as the latter staged a protest outside the All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE). The students were protesting against the varsity's draft hostel manual, a proposed steep hostel fee hike, curfew timings, and dress code restrictions imposed on students. Here are more details.
The protesting students marched towards AICTE in Vasant Kunj where both Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' were present for the varsity's third convocation ceremony. Carrying placards, hundreds of students pushed past police barricades as the cops used water cannons on them. Subsequently, a scuffle between the police and protesting students broke out.
Reportedly, the students called JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar a "thief" as they protested against the 300% hostel fee hike. The protestors raised several issues including a dress code, curfew timings, listed in the JNU's draft manual, restrictions by the administration on entry to the Parthasarathy Rocks, attempts to lock students' union office.
#WATCH Delhi: A scuffle between the police and protesting students breaks out, as the protest organised by Jawaharlal Nehru Students' Union (JNUSU) over different issues including fee hike, continues outside the university campus. pic.twitter.com/yOlezY9Rjx— ANI (@ANI) November 11, 2019
A protesting student told NDTV, "While we were paying Rs. 2,500 a month earlier, we will now have to pay Rs. 7,000 per month. We are compelled to protest because our issues have not been addressed," adding that there was nearly a 300% hike.
Further, the JNU Students Union said the "fee hike crushes the dream of equality irrespective of ability to afford." "The hike will affect an overwhelming number of students. It denies those from deprived sections to avail education if they cannot pay," it said. It added, "Other provisions like Dress Code and Curfew timings reflect the regressive dystopia that the admin wants JNU to become."
Meanwhile, a police officer reportedly said that the HRD Minister has not been able to come out of the AICTE auditorium. Separately, the Delhi Traffic Police said, that due to the protest, the route from Baba Gangnath Marg to JNU is jammed. Traffic movement on Nelson Mandela Marg from PS Vasant Vihar to PS Vasant Kunj was also closed, the Traffic Police said.
According to NDTV, Pokhriyal met JNUSU President Aishi Ghosh and assured that the students' concerns will be met. Further, the police and paramilitary forces present at the scene have also asked student union leaders to speak to protesting students.
Earlier, the JNUSU had called to boycott the convocation, and demanded the varsity administration to rollback the draft manual and proposed fee hike. The students have been protesting inside the campus for days, asking to speak to the Vice-Chancellor. Reportedly, the V-C is yet to hear their concerns. Further, some provosts have resigned from their hostel-in-charge positions over the last few days.