For around three weeks, constant protests by the JNU students has been going outside the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the latest draft hostel manual which includes hostel fee hike, dress code and curfew timings.
What te JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) are demanding is the complete rollback of the hostel manual. According to the administration and students, there has been no hike in the free structure for the last 19 years.
The JNUSU directed the attention of public towards the university’s annual reports which says that more than 40% of the students come from lower-income groups and cannot afford this sudden hike in the fee structure.
If we go by the new fee hike structure then new hostel charges would require students to pay a service charge of Rs. 1,700 per month which previously did not exist. Rent for a single room has been increased from Rs. 20 per month to Rs. 600 per month. Rent for a double-sharing room has increased from Rs. 10 per month to Rs. 300 per month.
The magnitude of the protests by the students has been increasing with each passing day. JNU protestors reached just outside the convocation hall where Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu was the chief guest on 11th november. In their recent attempt to make their voices heard, students attempted to march to the Parliament on November 18 where the first Winter Parliament session was held.
A FIR has been filed against the students of JNU for damaging the public property, rioting a day after the students were baton-charged by the police during their latest protest march against the proposed fee hike.
“We were taken to Delhi cantonment police station and then to Saket in a tactic to delay us. We were then taken to the delegation and as soon as the representatives left, the lights went off and the students were lathi-charged.” said one of the protestor.