Deadlock over JNU hostel fee hike persists

“We made it clear to them that we are not going to accept any increase in the hostel fee. There should be one fee for all category of students here," said JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh. Photo/PTI

Deadlock in the Jawaharlal Nehru University tussle continued on Friday as the students categorically told the members of a government-appointed panel that they will not accept an increase in the hostel charges "even by a penny" and continue with their strike until their demands for a complete rollback of the revised fees and hostel rules are met.

Addressing the students after a meeting with the high powered committee members in the campus, JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh said that it was also made it clear to the panel that normalcy in the functioning of the university can only be restored after vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and the registrar Pramod Kumar are removed from the varsity.

The three-member high powered-committee, comprising former UGC chairman VS Chauhan, held another round of talks with the students to end the ongoing tussle in the university over hostel fee hike and other issues.

The vice chancellor and registrar were also invited to participate in the meeting. But, according to sources, they did not turn up.

“We made it clear to them that we are not going to accept any increase in the hostel fee. There should be one fee for all category of students here. We also told them that the vice chancellor and registrar are only responsible for disruption of normalcy on the campus, not students. They must be removed,” she added.

She also told the students that the HRD ministry officials were asking the JNUSU leaders on Friday not to participate in a citizen's march scheduled to be held in the national capital on Saturday “to save public-funded higher education institutions.”

Teachers from the JNU, Delhi University and other higher education institutions joined by activists and people from various walks of life will take out the citizens march “in defence of inclusive public education and democratic rights,” pressing for a host of demands including removal of the JNU's vice chancellor.

“We made it clear to them that we will participate in the march. HRD ministry can not dictate us. If fees of the IITs or any public institution are increased tomorrow, we will rise in protest”, she added.

JNU students have been protesting against hostel fee hike and several changes made in the hostel rules for about four weeks.

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