The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students who have been in loggerheads with the university administration over the draft hostel manual which mentions a marginal increase in fees along with few other changes in rules, marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan today, seeking to meet the President over the fee hike issue.
As the unruly mob tried to cross the Bhikaji Cama Place Metro station, which was cordoned off by the police, jumping over barricades erected there, Delhi police launched lathi-charge to take control of the crowd. Television visuals showed police pushing back students who tried to jump over barricades en route the President’s house.
This morning, police had tightened security around JNU, blocking traffic on nearby roads and appealing to protesters to not resort to violence. Entry and exit points of the Udyog Bhawan, Lok Kalyan Marg and Central Secretariat Metro stations were also closed over concerns that the students may use the intra-city rail system to make their way to Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The protesting students had organised the march after the university administration rejected the student’s demand for a complete rollback of fee hike, explaining its rationale behind it, saying that the university is facing a deficit of Rs 45 crore and fee hike is necessary because of the huge electricity, water charges and the salary of contractual staff.
The “students” of JNU have continued to protest against the marginal hostel fee hike.
The students had earlier emailed their demands to President Ram Nath Kovind, demanding an immediate rollback of the proposed fee hike, resignation of the Vice-Chancellor and withdrawal of all police cases against agitating students.
In November, JNU students had marched towards the parliament chanting anti-fee hike slogans and carrying placards and posters.
Calling the partial rollback ‘cosmetic‘, the students have in the past, clashed with the police, heckled reporters, violently confined a female professor, who was roughed up and assaulted with filthy slurs during their ongoing protests. Besides, the JNU campus was mercilessly defaced by these goons.