JNU protests continue.

JNU protests continue.

JNU protesters train guns on HRD ministry; claim it’s hiding panel report on rollback

Students claim high-powered committee favours rollback of proposed fee hike

Agency Report | New Delhi | 29 November, 2019 | 11:20 PM

After the JNU administration, students of the varsity have now trained their guns at the Ministry of Human Resource Development, which the agitating students allege has been hiding the recommendation report by the high-powered committee on the rollback of the proposed fee hike.

The students have been alleging that the ministry along with the JNU administration is hiding the recommendations that the high-powered committee of the ministry has given to JNU administration as they feel the recommendations support the agitating students.

“Various media reports claim that in the recommendations the committee has advised JNU admin to roll back proposed fee hike and also take students’ suggestion on further steps,” said Sashwat, who is a post-graduate student of School of Social Sciences.

“Even we the students are exhausted, we want normalcy to return to campus, we want to write exams. But it is the MHRD and JNU admin who have to work for it now,” said Swati Singh, a DSF activist and JNU student said.

“The MHRD must publish the report it was prepared after interaction with students, because we as students have a right to know what has been recommended and what JNU admin will do for it,” Shubhanshu, former JNUSU secretary and a PhD student in the varsity, said.

Thousands of students on Friday once again flocked the streets leading up to the Union Human Resource Development Ministry (MHRD) here at the Shastri Bhavan demanding complete rollback of the proposed hostel fee hike at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

“We have been saying from the first day that we want dialogue, and we have been demanding the rollback of the hostel manual and removal of Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar. Once our demands are met we shall call off our strike.”

“We have been informed that our delegation will be allowed to meet the MHRD officials, so we shall wait here,” said student union leaders as Delhi Police officials stepped up security measures.

A massive deployment of security forces was seen outside the ministry building. Hundreds of policemen and other security forces manned entry and exits of 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 protesters 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.

The protesting JNU students came in buses as the protest started 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 the former chief of University Grants Commission (UGC) V.C. Chauhan to initiate a dialogue with the protesting students of JNU who had accused the administration of avoiding a dialogue over the proposed hostel fee hike.

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 in the campus for nearly five hours.

While the JNU administration had announced a 50 per cent concession for those in 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. (IANS)