Published: 05th December 2019
JNU students to march to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Dec 9 for affordable and quality education
The JNU staff members also met with the students' union office bearers on Monday to find a way to have the administration and students discuss the issue
Continuing their streak of Monday protest marches, the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University are set to march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President's residence, on Monday, December 9. Their demands remain the same — affordable and quality education for all being the most prominent of them all.
The JNU Students' Union called for the long march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on December 9 after the students conducted a University General Body Meeting on December 4. This is the third long march in the past month by the JNU students. The first time they marched to the AICTE Auditorium and protested outside. The clash with the police personnel and their use of water cannons caught the media's attention.
Their march to the Parliament was heavily barricaded and a day-long altercation with the police culminated to the students being lathicharged at night. The police were heavily criticised for actions. More than 30 students were severely injured. The MHRD formed a committee to look into the issues at the central university and recommend ways to resolve them. The committee recommended that the IHA meeting should be reconvened and the fees should be rolled back. But the report has not been made public yet.
The JNU staff members also met with the students' union office bearers on Monday to find a way to have the administration and students discuss the issue. Sources at the university said that the staff association is trying to mediate between the administration and students. They, reportedly, wanted to fix a meeting of the Union with the administration but nothing has been finalised yet. "As long as union representatives are allowed, we are willing to meet anyone and everyone to solve this issue," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, a councillor of the present JNUSU and member of BASO.
The teachers have also joined the protest. They even marched to the MHRD to meet the minister Ramesh Pokhriyal but in vain. Not just the minister but no higher official agreed to meet the teachers either. The JNUTA said that they are also implementing the decision to approach the Visitor — the President of India — for removal of the Vice-Chancellor "for his long list of misdeeds and the damage these have caused to the University". Their hunger strike on December 4 turned out to be a day-long activity to gather more support. "We have a poster, placard and banner painting workshop at the strike venue. These posters will be put up along campus roads and even outside," said a participating teacher. "There will be an emergency JNUTA GBM on Friday, December 6 to review the situation and plan a future course of action," said the teacher.
JNUTA President Dr DK Lobiyal and Secretary Dr Surajit Mazumder urged people to join their dharna cum hunger strike in large numbers "to express outrage at the continuation in office of a VC who is solely responsible for the crisis and also at the shielding of him by the MHRD reflected in its refusal to answer why the process initiated by the constitution of the HPC has been stalled".