Thousands of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday staged an extraordinary march towards parliament in protest against the fee hike, which the HRD ministry had said was withdrawn last week. In a dramatic development, students made desperate attempts to march towards parliament, where lawmakers gathered on the first day of the Winter Session.
A heavy presence of police and paramilitary forces stopped the protesting students from proceeding towards the parliament. There’s a 13-km distance between the JNU campus and the Indian parliament. Any public gathering is prohibited in the area surrounding the parliament.
Today’s march came just days after Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam had tweeted announcing a major rollback of the proposed fee hike. “Executive Committee announces major roll-back in the hostel fee and other stipulations. Also proposes a scheme for economic assistance to the EWS students. Time to get back to classes,” his tweet had read.
However, the JNU students’ union slammed the government for misleading the students with what they termed as an ‘eyewash.’ They complained that the rollback was only for students below the poverty line.
JNU students have been staging protests against the administration’s decision to hike fees for hostel facilities.
The one-time mess security fee, which is refundable, was hike from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000. The rent for single-bedroom was hiked from Rs 20 per month to a whopping Rs 600 per month. The rent for a double-seater room was hiked from Rs 10 per month to Rs 300 per month.
Meanwhile, the HRD ministry has constituted a three-member panel to find ways to establish normalcy in the campus of this reputed educational institution.