New Delhi: As the protests by the students of JNU escalated, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was stuck inside the AICTE auditorium for over six hours, making to force-cancel his two events later in the day.
The students of the JNU on Monday continued their protest over different issues including fee hike. The protest garnered momentum as the rent for student single room hiked from Rs 10 to Rs 300, rent for student double room hiked from Rs 20 to Rs 600, one-time refundable mess security deposit hiked from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000.
The situation escalated when ‘Nishank’ along with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had gone to All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to attend the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s third convocation. While Naidu left the premises before the protest escalated, Nishank had to stay inside.
“He is inside. But the situation has been handled. The minister has spoken to JNUSU president and assured their demands will be addressed,” a senior HRD Ministry official told PTI.
Though he had to leave the AICTE premises around 4.15 PM, he had to cancel two events scheduled at the Shastri Bhawan after the convocation. However, the HRD Minister met the students of the JNU and assured them that a solution to their issues will be addressed soon.
Earlier in the day, a protester was reportedly saying, “For the last 15 days, we are protesting against fee hike. At least 40 per cent students come from a poor background, how will these students study here?”
The gates of the AICTE, around 3 km from the JNU, were locked and the security personnel was stationed in and outside the premises in wake of the protests that started in the morning.
The protests escalated when the agitating students broke the blockades and marched towards the venue around 11.30 am. The police had to use water cannons to disperse the protestors and some of them were detained.
(With inputs from PTI)