New Delhi, Dec 1 | The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) said on Sunday that the agitation against the proposed hostel fee hike would continue till the authorities announce a complete roll back of the proposal.
A statement issued by the JNUSU said: “We stand today at a critical juncture. Our struggle till now has forced the JNU administration to introduce farcical revision in the hostel manual, but our message is loud and clear. Until our demand for complete rollback is met, we shall continue the academic suspension and total non-cooperation with the JNU administration.”
On Friday, the agitating students had marched to the Ministry of Human Resource Development. After the meeting with the authorities, JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh had said that HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ will hold a meeting with protesting students within a week to chalk out a solution to end the faceoff between the varsity students and the administration.
Ghosh told IANS that the assurance from top HRD Ministry officials came after the massive protest by agitating JNU students outside the Ministry’s office at Shastri Bhawan, a stone’s throw away from the Parliament.
She said that they were assured by HRD Secretary R. Subrahmanyam and Joint Secretary G.C. Hosur that “the Minister will meet us within a week so that we can convey our concerns to him”.
However, the JNUSU chief maintained that their protest will not be called off “at any cost” until the varsity administration announces a complete roll back of the proposed hostel fee hike and reconvenes the meeting of the Inter-Hall Administration Committee, where the fee hike was proposed.
The JNU students had approached the HRD Ministry to demand that the recommendations of the ‘High-Power Committee’ set up to resolve the issue be made public, alleging that the Ministry and the JNU administration were “hiding” the recommendations which were in the students’ favour.
The committee, headed by former UGC chief V.C. Chauhan and comprising UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain and NICTE member Anil Sahasrabudhe, was set to hold talks with the protesting students, who had accused the administration of avoiding a dialogue over the proposed hostel fee hike.
It came after failure of several attempts to pacify the agitating students. During one such protest, the HRD Minister and JNU Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar were confined to the campus for nearly five hours.