JNU: March To Rashtrapati Bhavan Foiled; Students Lathi-Charged After They Try To Deviate From Approved Route

(Twitter/@janusmyth)

Hundreds of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students attempting to march towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan over the fee hike issue were lathi-charged by police for the second time in the day on Monday as they scuffled with police when JNU Student Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh was pushed off a police Gypsy vehicle.

In the evening, the police rained blows on the students with their canes after the agitating students scuffled with police when Aishe Ghosh was pushed off from a police Gypsy when she was addressing the students.

The media was also stopped from taking videos of students being dragged inside PCR vans.

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Video journalists were manhandled and warned not to cover the incident or "else something will happen".

The crowd dispersed after the police warning and action.

"Students have been detained earlier, we were detained earlier, but this is illegal. We were dragged, punched, kicked and thrashed with lathis, before they threw several agitating students in PCR vans," Aishe Ghosh told the media.

The JNUSU, which is protesting the 400 per cent hike in hostel and mess fees for the past one month, on Monday decided to march to the President's house to meet the President and press their demands.

In the afternoon, South Delhi witnessed massive traffic snarls as JNU students occupied a part of Ring Road near Bhikaji Cama Place after Delhi police lathi-charged the students first time when they tried to deviate from the approved route.

The police action came when the students tried to break through the barricades put up in south Delhi's Bhikaji Cama Place area.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of the JNU students marched out of the JNU campus. Though the march started almost four hours late as the security forces had sealed all the gates of the JNU in early morning to stop the march. It was only after a lot of convincing by the JNU students union (JNUSU) that the march was allowed.

The students' month-long protest has so far failed to move the administration, which has rejected their demand for a complete rollback of the proposed hike in the hostel charges.

The draft hostel manual proposed to hike hostel charges from Rs 10 for double occupancy to Rs 300, and Rs 600 for single occupancy from the earlier Rs 20.

After the protests, the administration announced a 50 per cent concession for the BPL category students, but it failed to pacify students.

The issue is being handled by a committee of the Union Ministry of Human Resources, which has given its recommendations to the varsity administration after several meetings with students and their representatives.

(With inputs from IANS)

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