A day after their march to Parliament was stopped by police amid violent scenes, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union on Tuesday said the students are ready to undertake a march to parliament “10 times” if their demands are not met.
The students, who are demanding the resignation of JNU Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, have alleged that Delhi Police are “trying to break the backbone” of the protests by taking union members into detention.
On Monday, hundreds of JNU students staged a march to Parliament, on the opening day of the winter session, to protest against a hike in hostel and mess fees. However, the police stopped the protesters mid-way, leading to a scuffle between the two sides, which led to the students staging a sit-in, that in turn led to massive traffic snarls across central Delhi.
JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh said: “Police had detained at least a hundred students including me, and Satish (General Secretary of JNUSU), just to make sure the high powered meeting with the secretary (MHRD) does not take place.”
According to Ghosh, when the meeting did take place late on Monday night, they were told that the V-C and Registrar would not attend.
“We have made it clear in the meeting, that the agitation will stop only after all our demands are accepted, and if the V-C has a problem with that then we demand his resignation,” she said, addressing a press conference at the JNU administration block.
They have demanded restoration of the reservation for SC/STs in hostel accommodation and they have rejected the proposal for 10 per cent hike in hostel rates every year. They have also demanded rollback of a proposal to include the salary of contractual workers in the mess bill.
The students have conveyed their demands to the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
“The protesting students should not face any enquiry,” is another of their demands.
Meanwhile, a scuffle broke out between some TV media persons and JNU students during the press conference.
The JNUSU, which had called a press meet to speak about Monday’s happenings during its march to Parliament, got upset over some pointed questions posed by some of the journalists.
This led to a verbal duel between the two sides and a scuffle after which the press conference was called off. Later, the press conference was resumed after some mediapersons were told to leave.