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JNU students taunt cops, confine minister


New Delhi: Angry JNU students targeted police with "Tis Hazri, Tis Hazari" slogans after the police allegedly pushed some students, including women, who were holding a massive protest outside the campus gate on Monday, which saw Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal unable to leave the varsity after a convocation event.

The protest began in the morning, against the hostel draft manual and fee hike proposed by the administration, even as Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the JNU's Third Convocation Day there. The entire road outside the campus was blocked for hours due to the protest.

While the Vice President was able to leave the campus after his speech, the HRD Minister was not so lucky. He had to remain inside the compound for around five hours as angry students massed outside the gate.

It is only after a delegation of Delhi Police, comprising Special Commissioner of Police (headquarters) R.S. Krishnia and DCP (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa entered the campus, that they were able to escort the minister out safely after 4 p.m.

In between the police brought in water cannons to disperse the students, and kept one on standby for use. The use of water canon angered the students even more.

While he was confined inside, the HRD Minister met a delegation of students to hear about their demands. However, the students were unwilling to bring in the Minister into the fracas, and demanded that the only way to call off the protest would be by arranging talks with Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar.

In the evening, the protesting students appeared in no mood to call off their protest, and began to call more students to support them.

The students also shouted "Shame, Shame" at students who received degrees at the convocation ceremony. The protesters demanded that the VC and HRD Minister meet some of the students outside AICTE Hall.

"This is an urgent appeal for JNU students to join those protesting to continue building pressure on VC Mamidala to come out to meet those here at AICTE," went an appeal.

The 'Tis Hazari, Tis Hazari' chant was a taunt aimed at Delhi Police who were last week engaged in a massive scuffle with lawyers at the Tis Hazari courts over a parking row that left many injured, and escalated into a prolonged fight, with police coming out in protest.

Later, when some female constables pushed and shoved the protesting women students, the police were taunted with "Vakil Bualo, Vakil Bulao" (call the lawyers), in a throwback to the police-lawyers scuffle.

The students' union had called for a boycott of the convocation and demanded rollback of the hostel draft manual and fee hike proposed by the administration. In its latest orders, the JNU administration massively hiked the hostel, mess and security fee by a reported 400 per cent. It also limited the hostel timings.


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