‘Calling for Dialogue with VC Over Fee Hike,’ Say JNU Students

Police registered an FIR in connection with the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) protest.

Updated
India
3 min read

A day after the protest march by Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), its President Aishe Ghosh addressed the media and said, “Today is the 23rd day of the protest. On 28 October, the IHA passed the hostel draft manual in an illegal manner. We are only calling for a dialogue with the Vice Chancellor and a new meeting for the draft which includes our representatives.”

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police on Tuesday, 19 November, has registered an FIR in connection with the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) protest demanding a total rollback of hostel fee hike.

Ghosh recounted what transpired during Monday’s march and said all representatives of the union were tactfully separated so that neither could meet during the protest.

“I was detained at Delhi Cantonment. There was a girl in my bus who was severely injured but the policemen refused to stop and get her any help. After the students were released, we were all separated so we could not join and continue the protest.”
Aishe Ghosh, JNUSU President

JNUSU Prez Calls for FIR’s Withdrawal

Talking about the three-member committee appointed by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to restore normalcy at the university, she said, “The registrar has himself refused to talk to the members of the committee. What can we do in such a case? How will this move forward?”

Ghosh has also called for an immediate withdrawal of the FIR saying, “If the students are targeted in this way, they will not tolerate (it). The police is talking about law and order, they should introspect into what they did yesterday.”

She further stated that the strike will only be called off only when the MHRD will give specific directions to the VC for a complete rollback.

“The MHRD can’t come out with any excuses, if the VC refuses to do so then he must resign,” she added.

‘Protest Not Just For JNU, But For Affordable Education’

In a fiery speech, Satish Chandra Yadav, JNUSU’s general secretary, said that their fight is not just limited to JNU students but is for affordable education for all.

“Those who are being excluded are the poor, children of farmers and daily-wage labourers... We are trying to prevent it from happening. We want the students to be able to enroll themselves to the top institutes, but this government is working against it,” he added.

The press conference was disrupted several times as the reporters accused the students of not answering all of their questions.

The repeated disruptions led to a scuffle among the journalists themselves, while the students chanted, “Godi media, go back!”

Citing the implications of the fee hike, another student said that many others like her will not be able to get their degree if the fee hike is not slashed.

Shashi Bhushan, a visually impaired student who was beaten up by police on Monday, said, “You should question the government, but here you are questioning the poor. You're saying what violent protest a blind person will do.”

Delhi Police had reportedly asked him on Monday why he was protesting if he is blind, following which the JNU forum for visually impaired students had lashed out at them for not only beating him up, but also mocking his disability.

What Happened During Monday’s Protest March?

Students, carrying placards and chanting slogans, were baton-charged near Safdarjung Tomb after their march towards Parliament on the first day of the Winter Session on Monday, 18 November, was stopped by police near the Jor Bagh Metro Station.

While the students alleged that they were baton-charged by police, top police officials denied having used any force.

According to the police, around 30 police personnel and 15 students were injured during the protest in which thousands of students participated from different universities across the national capital.

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