The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) on Monday held a massive protest in the national capital over several of its demands including fee hike, provisions on dress code and curfew timings. The JNUSU has been on more than a week-long strike against the new hostel manual. Alleging privatisation of the university, the JNUSU asked about the economically deprived students.
Hundreds of JNU students carried out a march from Freedom Square to AICTE Auditorium with banners against the `massive fee hike`. A protester said, "For the last 15 days, we're protesting against fee hike. At least 40 per cent of students come from a poor background, how will these students study here?" 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 protest of the students' union is against the following issues--1) There should not be any increase in the fees of students. Currently, in JNU, the students had to pay Rs 10 per month for the hostel, but according to the new manual, from January 1, the students will have to pay Rs 300 for the hostel and Rs 600 for the single room; 2) JNU hostel manual needs a change; 3) There should be no increase in fine; 4) Money should not be taken from students for electricity and water supply; 5) Now the service charge of Rs 1,700 will have to be paid in the mess. Until now, there was no service charge in the mess of JNU; 6) Security deposit was earlier Rs 3,500 but now Rs 5,000 has to be given. However, this is refundable; 7) There will be dress code for both girls and boys; 8) Library will close at 6.30 pm; and 9) Return to the hostel will be done by 11 pm and in case of late entry permission has to be taken from the warden.
The university is hosting its convocation ceremony inside the campus where Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu is the chief guest.
Meanwhile, the police requested students to keep their protest peaceful, according to news agency ANI. "You are resorting to violence. Please keep your protest peaceful," a police official told protesters as a group of students dragged a police barricade. The students were protesting even as Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu was attending a convocation ceremony at the university.
JNU Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar had on November 8 alleged that some students had kept Associate Dean Dr Vandana Mishra in illegal captivity as part of their protest