JNU admin moves Delhi HC against students, JNUSU and police

As protest enter its 24th day, other universities extend their support in the fight against fee-hike


The students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have demanded the resignation of Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar whom they hold completely responsible for the current violence being unleashed on them.

The students’ union, however, expressed its trust in a “high power committee” the human resource development ministry had set up on Monday to find a solution, and which the students will meet on Wednesday, reported The Telegraph. The committee is headed by a former acting chairperson of the University Grants Commission, VS Chauhan and includes current Commission Secretary Rajnish Jain and the Chairperson of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Anil Sahasrabuddhe.

On Wednesday morning, the 42 elected students’ union councillors and union office-bearers will meet the ministry committee, which held the first round of meetings with the university administration on Tuesday evening. The panel is expected to hand in its report within three days.

“We will cooperate with the committee,” Danish said. “We hope they will understand the hardship of the students and recommend a complete rollback of the hostel fee hike.”

On Monday, a students’ union team had met a joint secretary of the HRD ministry.

The students’ union has demanded reservation in hostel seats for students from socially backward sections, and a new manual prepared in consultation with the students.

Admin goes to court

Slighted by the decision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) to review the fee hike, the JNU administration has moved to the Delhi High Court seeking proceedings of contempt against Delhi Police, students and leaders of the JNU Students’ Union, reported News 18.

The university has accused the JNUSU leaders of allegedly violating the High Court’s earlier ruling which restrains any act of protestation within 100 metres of the administrative block of the university. It said that the police also violated the court order by failing to maintain law and order in the university by removing the blockade around the administrative block.

The plea, alleging that the protests had stopped the day-to-day functioning of the varsity, by the JNU admin came in on Monday, after the students broadened their call for affordable education by marching towards the Parliament where they were stopped, detained and beaten up by security forces.

Police brutality reported by students

Many students have been injured in the violent clashes that ensued between them and the police. At a campus news conference that the students’ union held on Tuesday, many recounted their horrific encounters with the police.

“Male police manhandled and groped female students and the behaviour of the state machinery on unarmed students is beyond shameful,” a students’ union statement said.

The teachers, some of whom too were assaulted on Monday after they came to the protest site to interact with the students, held a march on the campus on Tuesday to condemn the police action.



“Today, we demanded the removal of the vice-chancellor,” said Mohammed Danish, students’ union joint secretary.

“He is entirely responsible for the present movement. Even though our agitation has reached the 23rd day, he did not bother to meet us once.”

The Delhi Police has also been accused of brutally beating up visually impaired students. Shashi bhushan Pandey, who was inhumanely beaten up, was asked why he was protesting if he was blind. The JNU Visually Challenged Students Forum and the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) condemned the “insensitive attitude” of the police.

In solidarity with JNU

JNU’s fight for freedom of thought and quality education has been a long one. But in this fight, it is not alone. Apart from the professors of the varsity supporting their students in the fight, JNU has garnered immense support from other universities in its call for affordable education for all.

Students from Wardha’s Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishvavidyalaya marched in support of the JNU students and fiercely condemned the lathi charge by the police. Tushar, an MA student of the university said that every attack on the students protesting the fee hike will prove to be the last nail in the coffin against the government opposing their agitation.



Another MA student Kanupriya Devendra said that it is right for the students to fight for their rights and every student must do so, or else the death of public institutions would be inevitable.

Shubham Jaiswal, a researcher from the Peace Studies department criticised the fee hike stating that 70 percent of the country’s population were farmers, labourers and people with small businesses. Studying at such esteemed public universities will only go on to live honourable lives and become citizens contributing to the welfare of the state.

Ravi, a researcher from the Social Work department said that the government is appointing people with a ‘Manuvadi’ ideology to the universities where they are imposing self-established rules without the consent of the students thus leading to the institutional deaths of students like Rohith Vemula, Payal Tadvi and Fathima Lathif.

They also condemned the police attacks on Unnao farmers who have been demanding fair compensation for their land acquired for the Trans Ganga Hitech City in Uttar Pradesh.



Students from Punjab University have also lent their support to JNU students. “If we don’t stand in solidarity with fellow public universities, then who will stand with us in our time of need?” said Amandeep from Punjab Students’ Union (PSU) Lalkaar. According to Amandeep, JNU stood in solidarity with Punjab University in 2017,when a similar protest took place over the issue of a proposed fee hike between the ranges of 40 per cent to 1100 per cent at PU. After violent protests erupted at the university, the fee hike was restricted to 10 per cent.

Universities like the Benaras Hindu University (BHU), Visva-Bharati University and Delhi University have also seconded JNU’s demands.

The agitation of the JNU students who have been fighting for a complete rollback of the fee-hike is set to enter its 24th day soon. It has garnered support not only from its teachers, but also from other universities across the country. Yet, even after the intervention by the MHRD and the aggressive turn that the protests have taken, their one demand has not been met with yet – a dialogue with the Vice Chancellor. In all the 23 days of the protest, the VC has refused to relent and meet with the students, only putting forward his messages in print and through video.

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