JNU students have protested the increase in boarding fees.
Hundreds of students from Jawarhalal Nehru University in Delhi were stopped by police this afternoon near campus as soon as they began marching to parliament amid tight security to demand a "total return" on the recent rise in boarding fees.
With posters in hand, hundreds of students shouted slogans of rising costs when they started their parade. More than 1,200 police have been deployed off campus. Large gatherings are prohibited outside parliament.
"Protests by JNU students have been stopped by Delhi Police about one kilometer from the north gate of Parliament," said former JNUSU president N. Sai Balaji.
The Jawarhalal Nehru University Student Union led a march to parliament a few days after the university's decision-making body announced a "major setback" in the recent rise in boarding costs amid massive protests. "The JNU Executive Committee announced a big roll-back in boarding fees and other provisions. Also proposing a scheme for economic assistance to EWS students. It's time to return to class," Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam tweeted last week.
Students have been protesting an increase in fees for more than 10 days after the draft boarding manual was issued which includes provisions including an increase in boarding fees, dress codes and boarding time. Last week, hundreds of students who protested clashed with police on the day of the university meeting. The police in riot clothing, totally outnumbered by the students, were seen jostling with the crowd.
Today, the student body said that the march to parliament was "a way to ask MPs to fight on our behalf on the floor of the house".
The Ministry of Education also formed a three-member panel this morning to recommend steps to restore the normal functioning of the central university.
"With the intention to restore the normal functioning of JNU through dialogue with all stakeholders and to advise the university administration on the resolution of debated issues, the government has appointed a high-powered three-member committee," HRD Secretary R Subrahmanyam was quoted as saying by the PTI news agency .
The committee "will begin dialogue with students and university administration immediately and submit recommendations on actions to be taken," he added. "The UGC will provide the support needed for the functioning of the committee," Subrahmanyam said.
On Sunday, JNU Deputy Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar urged students who protested to return to their classes. In a video message released on the university's website, he said he had received emails from parents and students who were worried about the situation at the university that affected academic activities.
The university has raised double room rent from Rs 10 to Rs 300 per month, one room from Rs 20 to Rs 600 per month and increased one-time security deposit that can be returned from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000. However, some fees were canceled. Now, renting rooms for rooms with one seat will be Rs 600 per month, while that will be Rs 300 for students from the poverty line category below (BPL).
Likewise, the rent for a double seater room is Rs 300 per month for all while it is Rs 150 for students from the BPL category.
The student body rejected rollback last week, calling it "eye wash".
(With input from PTI, IANS)
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