Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) on Monday carried out a massive protest rally outside the campus against the fee hike in the new hostel manual which also includes provisions on dress code and curfew timings.
Delhi Police then used water cannons to disperse them.
The students were also protesting against several other issues like restrictions on the entry to the Parthasarathy Rocks, attempts to lock students' union office and other "anti-students" policies of the administration.
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.
Delhi: The protest organised by Jawaharlal Nehru Students' Union (JNUSU) over different issues including fee hike, continues outside the university campus. pic.twitter.com/LChNw40rjn— ANI (@ANI) November 11, 2019
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 JNU at Baba Balaknath Marg, near the traffic signal, underneath the flyover and near the venue, an officer said.
But students broke these blockades and marched towards the venue around 11.30 am. Some of the protesters have been detained, police said.
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.
Hundreds of JNU students were seen carrying banners against the 'massive fee hike'.
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."
"We will have to ask the executive council members to reject the hostel manual in its upcoming meeting on Wednesday," Ghosh said.
The HRD minister has promised that students' union would be called for meeting to the ministry.
"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."
"We have been protesting for over 15 days but the Vice-Chancellor is not willing to talk to us. The fee has been hiked in the university. Around 40 per cent of the students here come from very poor families," one of the protesting students told ANI.
Another student said that the university is subsidised so that the poor can also study here. "How will a poor student be able to study here if the hostel fee is over 6 to 7 thousand," the student asked.
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.
(inputs from agencies)
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