Published: 29th October 2019
JNU grinds to a halt as students call for university strike demanding revocation of new hostel rules
The strike was called on Tuesday as students are protesting various issues including hostel fee hike, electricity charges and the draft hostel manual
Following the faceoff between the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration and students on Monday regarding the Inter Hostel Administration (IHA) meeting, the students led by the JNU Student' Union has been observing a complete university strike on Tuesday, October 29 since 9 am in the morning. The entire varsity is on a shutdown as the protesting students are not allowing any kind of activities to take place. Thousands of them are protesting at the premises over various issues including a proposed hostel fee hike, electricity charges and mainly demanding the revocation of the 'regressive' draft hostel manual.
The students have been marching on campus since 11.30 am, following which they will gather at the school area lawn to put across their demands to the Vice-Chancellor. "Poora JNU bandh hai, bandh hai, bandh rahega" (entire JNU is closed and it will remain closed) is the slogan that all the protesting students are heard chanting in several videos obtained by The New Indian Express from the venue.
The students are heard saying that they are tired of the 'double standards' of the JNU administration, alleging that they intentionally did not call the JNUSU for Monday's IHA meeting. "The health issue is just an excuse for the Dean to run away from his responsibilities. But that won't deter our spirits in any way. We will fight united and we should be allowed to decide what we want on campus, they can't force us to do these things. We are urging all our fellow students to ensure that the strike is on, we will make sure that the administration is not allowed to perform any kind of activities today. We are urging all the students to stand in solidarity of this strike at their respective schools on campus. JNU will be closed today. We are here since morning, students support is commendable and so we feel that the security here and anyone from the administration hasn't tried to stop us yet. This strike has to go on till the draft hostel manual is revoked," the current JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh is heard saying in one of the videos.
(Video Credit: Shekhar yadav| TNIE)
On Monday, some students had allegedly blocked an ambulance and stopped doctors from meeting the Dean, following which authorities threatened to take "severe action" against them. However, JNUSU denied indulging in any violence during the protest. In the morning, a meeting of the Inter Hostel Administration was going on at the convention centre of JNU when some students, who are not members of the IHA committee, "forcibly" entered the venue, university''s registrar Pramod Kumar said.
Condemning the incident, JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar posted on Twitter, "The university administration is contemplating on a severe action against some JNU students whose conduct today has been not only unbecoming, but dangerous and shameful. This kind of behaviour by a section of JNU students is highly condemnable and outrageous."
JNUSU vice president Saket Moon alleged that the vice-chancellor and his people were trying to show the protest in a "negative light". "The vice chancellor today attempted to destroy the model which enables economically weaker students to come and study here," he said. "The IHA meeting was held to hike fees, oust students from hostels. The meeting was held without inviting JNUSU which should have been invited. We were protesting against not being invited to the meeting but this protest is being shown in a negative light," he claimed. We did not indulge in violence but we will continue to oppose attempts by the administration to shut down JNU Or privatise it," Moon added.