Published: 18th November 2019
Delhi Police detains JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh as students try to push through barricades
The students were stopped just 1 km away from the JNU campus on Baba Gangnath Marg by the Delhi Police barricades
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union President Aishe Ghosh has reportedly been detained after the students' march to the Parliament met with police barricades and a 1200-personnel-strong force on Baba Gangnath Marg, only a kilometre away from the JNU campus where Section 144 is still in place. The students formed a human chain and breached through the barricades. A scuffle broke out between the police and the students for a brief moment but they have not lathi-charged yet.
"The Delhi Police stopped JNU students peaceful march to parliamentarians. The MHRD is fooling students by forming this committee. Why didn't the committee suspend fee hike till dialogue is happening?" asked Former JNUSU President N Sai Balaji. Not just Aishe but some other students as well have been detained when they tried to climb past the barricades put in by the Delhi Police.
"Students have been brutally beaten and detained by police. Some students are on a bus behind the barricades and some of them are injured," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, member of students' organisation, BASO. The police officers were also seen recording the events. The police had the area barricaded and had also deployed paramilitary forces to seal the university gates just before the march was supposed to start at 11 am.
The JNUSU had called for a united march across the streets of Delhi on November 18, 2019, "to save public institutions of higher education". "At a time when fee hikes are rampant across the country, students have emerged as the first line of defence for inclusive education. We invite all students of Delhi, to join us as we march on foot from JNU to the Parliament on the first day of the winter session of the Parliament. We also would like to appeal to students outside Delhi to organize protest gatherings on the November 18 to mark a National Day of Protest, to safeguard education as a right, and oppose its transformation into a commodity," said Aishe Ghosh, President, JNUSU.
The intervention of the MHRD minister Ramesh Pohriyal in the issue and the subsequent announcement of the "major rollback" of fees have been making headlines for the past week and the students say that this only shows that the MHRD and the JNU administration are "two sides of the same coin". They also made it clear that the JNUSU will not retreat. "JNU is poised upon the brink of destruction because if the JNU admin has its way, fees shall rise by more than 1100 percent making it the most expensive Central University in India. Adding fuel to the fire is the complete omission of the reservation policies in hostel allotment process that have ensure social justice on the campus. Furthermore, the administration plans, through the newly passed manual, to criminalise dissent, with punishments for any form of protest punishable by hefty fines and rustication from the university," said Saket Moon, Vice-President, JNUSU.