Published: 09th December 2019
Delhi Police put up barricades, lock gates to stop JNU students' Chatra Padayatra to Rashtrapati Bhavan
The students supporting the march were asked to assemble near the Sabarmati Dhaba at 10 am. However, they haven't been able to begin their padayatra yet
The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University have planned a 'Chatra Padayatra' (long march) to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday in order to meet the President and put forward their demands including affordabble and quality education to all, to save public universities, reject draft NEP 2019 and a complete rollback of the fee hike. The march was scheduled to begin at 10 am on Monday morning however, protesting students said that all gates at the varsity have been closed by the Delhi Police.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) Vice President Saket Moon told Edex, "All gates in and around JNU have been shut down by the Delhi Police. Huge numbers of barricades and police personnel have been put in place, creating an emergency environment to try and stop the padayatra to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Police has put on barricades near Buddh Vihar slope, as soon as one turns right from the JNU gate."
The students supporting the march were asked to assemble near the Sabarmati Dhaba at 10 am. However, they haven't been able to begin their padayatra yet. Saket added that all of this will not stop them from carrying on their march against the fee hike. "Lathi, water cannon, barricades and the police will not stop us. They are trying to lock us within the university by closing all gates," he added.
The JNUSU called for the long march on Monday morning after the students conducted a University General Body Meeting on December 4, 2019. This is the third long march in the past month by the protesting students at the varsity. The first time they had marched to the AICTE Auditorium and protested outside. Their march to the Parliament was heavily barricaded and a day-long altercation with the police culminated to the students being lathicharged at night. Over 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. However, the report has not been made public yet.
JNU teachers have also joined the students' protest and have been expressing their solidarity throughout the struggle. The teachers had made an appeal to the Members of Parliament in a letter last week, asking them to look into the matter. Following this, a delegation of eight Members of Parliament met the MHRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on December 5 to discuss the protests at JNU and to find a way to resolve the month-long lockdown at the central university. Pokhriyal has promised to end the stalemate soon.