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New Delhi: Thousands of students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) clashed with police on Monday as their protest over fee hike on the varsity’s convocation day escalated, forcing HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to stay inside the AICTE premises for over six hours.
The students were protesting near the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the venue for varsity’s third convocation. The protests started in the morning and escalated as the day progressed with angry crowds of students trying to push through a wall of anti-riot police personnel to approach the venue.
Several blockades put up by the police were also broken by the protesting students, who started their march towards the AICTE, about 3 km away from the university’s south Delhi campus, around 11.30 am. They were stopped a short distance away from the AICTE auditorium, where Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the university’s convocation.
Water cannons were used to disperse the protestors and police said some of the students were detained. Top brass of the Delhi Police were at the site to handle the situation.
Barricades were also placed outside the north and west gates of the JNU campus, as well as on the route between the AICTE auditorium and the university at Baba Balaknath Marg and nearby areas, a police officer said. The angry students raised slogans against the varsity’s vice chancellor and also the Delhi Police.
The students are demanding withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, which they claimed has provisions for fee hike, dress code and curfew timings. The gates of the AICTE were locked and security personnel were stationed in and outside the premises.
While Naidu left the venue after attending the convocation, the HRD Minister was stuck inside for over six hours forcing him to cancel two scheduled events later in the day. The minister was able to leave the premises around 4.15 pm. (PTI)