New Delhi/ JNU students clash with cops during protest over fee hike, dress code

New Delhi: Shouting slogans and raising banners, thousands of Jawaharlal Nehru University students clashed with police on Monday outside the campus as they raised their voices against the administration’s ‘anti-student’ policy.

The protests started in the morning and escalated as the day progressed with angry crowds of students pushing against police personnel in anti-riot gear.

The students wanted to march to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) auditorium, about three kilometres away from the campus in south Delhi, where Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the university’s convocation. But they were stopped a short distance away.

Barricades were placed outside the north and west gates of the JNU campus, as well as on the route between the AICTE auditorium and the university at Baba Balaknath Marg and in nearby areas, a police officer said.

Students broke blockades: But students broke these blockades and marched towards the venue around 11.30 am. Some of the protesters have been detained, police said.

The angry students raised slogans such as ‘Delhi Police Go Back’ and called Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar Mamidala a ‘thief’.

The students are demanding withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, which they claimed has provisions for the fee hike, dress code, and curfew timings.

Hundreds of students protested near the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi on Monday against the administration’s ‘anti-student’ policy.

Students wanted to march towards the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was 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.

Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal was not being able to come out of the venue.

“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.

JNUSU office-bearers meet Pokhriyal: The JNUSU office-bearers met Pokhriyal who assured them that their demands would be looked into.

They, however, were not able to meet the V-C. The protesters were also raising slogans ‘we want V-C’.

“Historic day for us that we broke barricades, reached the convocation venue and met the minister,” Ghosh said.

“This could happen because we were united.”

“This is not the end of our movement. We urged the HRD minister to ask the V-C to have a dialogue with the students,” the JNUSU president said.

“It is due to the V-C that things have come to be like this.”

The HRD minister has promised that students’ union would be called for meeting to the ministry.

“We will have to ask the executive council members to reject the hostel manual in its upcoming meeting on Wednesday,” Ghosh said.

Students wanted to meet V-C: Students wanted to meet the vice chancellor and demand withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, which they claimed has provisions for fee hike, dress code and curfew timings.

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.