Thousands of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who were marching to Parliament in protest against the massive hike in hostel fees on Monday, were detained and lathi-charged, leaving some of them grievously injured. The students, however, continued their march but were stopped at many places. The protesters said they would not relent until the government withdraws the hike.
Many students took to Twitter and Facebook to share pictures from the march and the injuries they received, with the hashtag 'EmergencyinJNU' trending on Twitter.
The entry and exit points of three Delhi metro stations near Parliament were shut down
There was massive police deployment near Delhi’s premier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday morning in a bid to prevent hundreds of students who had gathered to take out a protest march to Parliament against the massive hike in hostel fee.
The students are demanding a complete rollback of the hostel fee hike. According to reports, some of the student leaders were even detained.
“Twelve of us have been put in a bus and been taken to unknown location because we were peacefully marching for our right to education," Aishe Ghosh, president of JNUSU posted on Facebook.
Another student, Deepanjan Krishnan, wrote on social media: “Some of us have been brutally beaten up and detained by police. They are taking us somewhere. Women comrades including JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh was beaten up by male police personnel. There is no female police in the force,”
The protest march comes on the first day of the Parliament's Winter Session, which will end on December 13.
Meanwhile, the JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA), in a statement expressed deep concern over the massive deployment of police and barricading of campus gates.
“Any such measure to thwart the exercise of constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights and to impede the students form peacefully taking the voice beyond the campus would be extremely unfortunate,” it said in a statement.
Hundreds of students from JNU have been protesting for nearly three weeks against the draft hostel manual, which has provisions for hostel fee hike, dress code and curfew timings. Some students, belonging to extremely marginalised sections as well those who are physically challenged, even expressed fear that they may have to abandon their studies of the fee hike was not rolled back.
Meanwhile, the police said 10 companies have been deployed outside JNU. One company comprises 70 to 80 personnel, according to a PTI report.
A senior official said police personnel were only accompanying the agitating students during the march to ensure no untoward incident takes place.
Initially, the barricades outside JNU's gates were removed and the students were allowed to march. The police later stopped the march around 500 metres from the varsity's gates.
Former JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) president N Sai Balaji said, "Delhi Police stops JNU students peaceful march to parliamentarians! The MHRD is fooling students by forming committee. Why didn't the committee suspend fee hike till dialogue is happening? We are demanding a rollback of the fee hike."
Earlier, the HRD Ministry appointed a three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normal functioning of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Akshat, a JNU student, told PTI, "The students' union has not been informed by the ministry about the formation of a panel. The administration officials and the panel should speak to the elected union to solve the issue."
Priyanka, another student said, "We are being given a lollipop in terms of the partial rollback. I am the first from my family to reach university. There are many others like me. Education is not the birthright of a privileged few."
Students took out the march carrying banners which read "save public education", fees must fall" and "ensure affordable hostels for all".
Another student, who did not wish to be identified, said, "We haven't seen our VC in a long time. It's time that he comes out and talks to us. Instead of appealing to us through teachers and other methods, he should initiate a dialogue with us,” the PTI report said.
(With Inputs from PTI)