JNU student protests: Security hiked outside HRD Ministry

JNU Student and Delhi Police

New Delhi: Taking in view the protests by agitating students of the capital’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a massive deployment of security forces has been made outside the Unionb Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry here.

The students of JNU have been demanding a complete rollback of the proposed hostel fee hike. The students have announced a protest at the MHRD demanding a fee rollback and for publicly releasing the recommendations on this issue by a high-powered committee in JNU.

Hundreds of policemen and other security forces have been stationed at the entry and exits of Doctor Rajendra Prasad road where the MHRD is situated.

Along with the security forces, the Delhi Police has sealed the road from both ends with triple layers of barricading. The forces are also equipped with water cannons that can be used in case the protestors go out of control.

The Youth Congress also staged a separate protest here with members of the group demanding the resignation of Pragya Thakur over her controversial remarks in Parliament.

However, the protest by JNU students, which was to start at 11.30 a.m. had not started even by 12.30 p.m. with the students alleging that they were not allowed to go out of the campus.

“The (JNU) administration has stopped buses from entering JNU. We are finding alternative ways to reach the HRD Ministry,” a JNU student told media.

The HRD Ministry earlier appointed a committee headed by former chief of University Grants Commission (UGC) V.C. Chauhan was appointed to initiate a dialogue with the protesting students of JNU who had accused the administration of avoiding a dialogue over the hostel fee hike proposed.

UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain and NICTE member Anil Sahasrabudhe are also part of the high-powered committee.

“There will be no more meeting with the students. We have understood their concerns and will keep them in mind while putting our recommendations,” Jain said.

He added that the JNU administration will take a final call on the issue.

However, the report, which was supposed to be submitted to the JNU administration on Monday, has not been made public yet.

The committee was constituted after the failure of several attempts to pacify the agitating students. During one such protest, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar were confined to the campus for nearly five hours.

While the JNU administration had announced a 50 per cent concession for those belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) category, the students rejected the proposal, terming it as an eyewash, and demanded complete rollback of the proposed hostel fee hike.

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