Hundreds of students protested near the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here on Monday against the administration’s “anti-student” policy.
Students wanted to march towards the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the university’s convocation in an auditorium.
The gates of the AICTE, around 3 km from JNU, were locked and the security personnel were stationed in and outside the premises in wake of the protests that started in the morning.
Barricades were placed outside the north and west gates of the JNU campus, as well as on the route between the AICTE auditorium and JNU at Baba Balaknath Marg, near the traffic signal, underneath the flyover and near the venue, an officer said.
But students broke these blockades and marched towards the venue around 11.30 am. Some of the protesters have been detained, police said.
With placards in their hands, the students were playing tambourines, raising slogans like “Delhi Police Go Back” and calling Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar a “thief”.
Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal was unable to come out of the venue.
“JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and vice president Saket Moon were asked to talk to the students to make way for the HRD minister. Police requested the protesters to move from the gate, but they refused,” an officer said.
The JNUSU office-bearers met Pokhriyal who assured them that their demands would be looked into.
They, however, were not able to meet the V-C. The protesters were also raising slogans like “we want V-C”.
“Historic day for us that we broke barricades, reached the convocation venue and met the minister,” Ghosh said. “This could happen because we were united.”
“This is not the end of our movement. We urged the HRD minister to ask the V-C to have a dialogue with the students,” the JNUSU president said. “It is due to the V-C that things have come to be like this.”
The HRD minister has promised that students’ union would be called for a meeting to the ministry.
“We will have to ask the executive council members to reject the hostel manual in its upcoming meeting on Wednesday,” Ghosh said.
Students wanted to meet the vice-chancellor and demand withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, which they claimed has provisions for fee hike, dress code and curfew timings.
The protest is part of the agitation against the hostel manual and several other issues like restrictions by the administration on entry to the Parthasarathy Rocks and attempts to lock students’ union office, according to the students.
The students’ union has been on a strike against the draft hostel manual, which was approved by the inter-hall administration. They have said the strike will not end till the hostel manual is withdrawn.