Hundreds of students staged protests outside the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday over fee hike, curfew timings and dress code restrictions in the varsity.
Students wanted to march towards the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is addressing a convocation, but the gates have been barricaded.
The protests, which started in the morning, 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.
But students broke these blockades and marched towards the venue around 11.30 am. Some of the protesters have been detained, police said.
With placards in their hands, the students were beating tambourine and raising slogans like "Delhi Police Go Back" and calling Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar a "thief".
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.
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.
In wake of protest, all five provosts, in charge of 18 hostels, have either resigned or signed statements rejecting the new hostel manual. The provosts, however, alleged they did so under pressure from JNU Students’ Union.
The JNUSU said it had given the provosts two options — reject (the manual) or resign.
The Associate Dean of Students (ADoS), however, put out a notice Wednesday condemning the incident and said none of the provosts had “actually resigned” or rejected the manual. While the administration said there was “no massive hike”, new hostel charges have been put out by it.
They claimed that the manual has provisions for fee hike, curfew timings and dress code restrictions.
JNU students have been protesting since October 28, when the new hostel manual was allegedly passed without the presence of JNUSU representatives and hostel presidents.
with PTI inputs