Hundreds march to HRD Ministry, asks removal of JNU VC

JNU students during their protest march from Mandi House to HRD Ministry, demanding the removal of the university vice-chancellor. (PTI PHOTO)

Upping the ante, the JNU students and faculty members on Thursday took out a protest march in the national capital, telling the government clearly that they will not end their stir until M Jagadesh Kumar is removed as vice-chancellor even as the HRD ministry stepped in to douse the fire holding confabulations with students and teachers from the varsity.

While the HRD ministry secretary Amit Khare tried to pacify the students and teachers of the varsity during an hour-long meeting with an eight-member delegation, JNU students union president Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in January 5 violence in the campus, made it clear after the meeting that there will be “no compromise” on the students' demand for removal of the vice-chancellor.

Soon after the meeting, the protesting students marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan to call on their Visitor, President Ram Nath Kovind, but the police stopped them. Several protesters were detained by the police as they refused to relent. One of the students sustained injuries as police used batons to disperse the protesters.

“We will not compromise with the HRD ministry over our demand for removal of the vice-chancellor. It is still thinking whether the vice-chancellor should be removed or not. We will not go back an inch from here and now take our march to Rashtrapati Bhavan to demand the immediate removal of the vice-chancellor. Call everyone (students) to reach here,” she said while addressing the protesters.

Khare, however, told reporters that another round of meeting will be held with the JNU administration on Friday and the students' representatives to discuss ways to restore normalcy in the campus, saying removing the vice-chancellor was not a solution.

"Removing the VC is not the solution. The basic issue on which the whole problem has arisen needs to be addressed first. Changing X, Y or Z is not as important as resolving the issues that have come up. The basic bone of contention needs to be resolved," Khare said.

“We would like to ensure that JNU retains its position as a premier academic and research institution. And, wherever required, we will take steps to ensure that normalcy is restored.”

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Mukul Wasnik, RJD MP Manoj Jha, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, Left parties' Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat joined the protest march. Faculty members and students of the Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University, as well as JNU Alumni, also participated in the march.

CPI leader and former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar trained guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, accusing them of destroying the country by playing divisive politics.

Facing accusation of being part of 'tukde tukde' gang, Kanhaiya said that he agrees that he is the leader of the 'tukde tukde' gang, not to divide the country, but to demolish the divisive politics of the BJP.

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