JNU Fee Hike: Tension Looms as Students Continue Protest

Police lathicharge protesting students. Source: Hindustan Times

JNU students protest at the Delhi Campus. Source: PTI

Events keep unfolding at the Jawaharlal Nehru University as the protests enter its third week.

Highlights:

  • JNU administration releases a list of pending mess dues, Students Union Vice-President calls it an attempt to threaten protesting students.
  • Over a hundred members from JNUTA dissociate themselves from the group.
  • Police arrest ABVP members during a protest march, release them later.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has issued list of pending mess dues from hostel residents, amounting to over Rs 2.79 crore, a move JNU Students Union vice-president Saket Moon claimed is an attempt to threaten students when the university is fully aware of the reality.

The details of pending dues from hostel residents were released on November 20 by the assistant registrar of Inter-Hall Administration.

According to the details issued, mess dues from July to October from 17 hostels stand at Rs 2,79,33,874.Over Rs 44 lakh is pending from the month of July, while dues of August stand at Rs 55 lakh.The mess dues pending from September and October amount to Rs 73,71,808 and Rs 1,13,95,634 respectively.

Police lathicharge protesting students. Source: Hindustan Times

According to Moon, the fellowships through which students pay their fees are disbursed once in three or six months and thus they fail to pay it on time. “If the UGC and the JNU administration ensure that these are timely, these dues would not accumulate,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Dean of Students, Umesh Kadam commented,”The hostel mess is run on a no-profit, no-loss basis. How are we supposed to run them when we have close to Rs three crore pending dues?”

Earlier, 160 members of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) were detained and taken to the Parliament Street Police Station when they attempted to march towards Shastri Bhawan against the hostel fee hike. They were stopped midway and taken to the police station, but were released later. About 12 of them were women, according to reports.

In a separate incident reported by PTI, 110 teachers have dissociated themselves from the JNU Teachers Association citing the group’s ‘indifference’ towards them being allegedlyattacked by the protesting students. They also expressed their concern over the high power committee appointed by the HRD Ministry to solve the fee hike issue and said that it amounts to ‘interference’ in the matters of an autonomous university.

We have decided to dissociate ourselves from JNUTA from November 20. The primary reason behind this decision is the shocking indifference of the present office bearers of JNUTA to a series of dastardly attacks on teachers in last one month,” they said and accused the JNUTA of being “hand in glove” with the miscreants in “attacking, abusing, confining and intimidating own colleagues”.

About 110 teachers dissociated themselves from JNUTA. Soutce: JNUTA

Their statement came in the wake of Professor Vandana Mishra, an associate dean of the varsity, allegedly being confined to over 24 hours in a classroom by students protesting over the hostel manual.

“A large section of the students are interested in attending classes. However the agitating students threaten other common students and ask them to not attend the classes,” the teachers claimed
and alleged that the protesters made “communal remark while gheraoing the teachers “in a bid to instigate and belittle them”.

Meanwhile, JNUSU has called for a human chain protest today at 2 pm.

Students of JNU have been protesting since 28 October after the university released a draft manual which mentioned hostel fee hike, curfew timings and dress code. After the protests took serious turns, he executive council (EC) announced partial rollback of the fees which only applies to the BPL students without scholarships. They also withdrew the provisions for the curfew timings and dress
code.But the students dismissed it as an ‘eyewash’.

 

 

Swastika Das Sharma with inputs from PTI.