New Delhi: The massive protest by the student’s union of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) over hostel fee hike turned violent on Monday afternoon forcing the police and security personnel to open water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Thousands of students of the politically-sensitive JNU gathered outside the university campus in New Delhi striking against a number of issues including a hostel fee hike by nearly 300 per cent, from Rs 2,500 to Rs 7,000.

Several protesting students were halted by the Delhi Police as they attempted to cross barricades and march towards the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in Vasant Kunj. Moreover, women police personnel were seen pushing back protesting girl students.

Notably, as the police and members of JNUSU were enraged in a tussle, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu addressed the varsity’s third convocation ceremony at AICTE.

Earlier, a protester was reported as saying, “For 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?” Currently, the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s convocation ceremony is underway on the campus. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu who was invited as the chief guest is present there.

The students union of JNU had earlier called for a protest against the provisions of the draft hostel manual, stated a report by Times of India.

Earlier on Saturday, a section of JNU students held a protest-meet against Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya case. The meeting was organised by a JNU student named Sharjeel Imam at Sabarmati Dhaba inside the varsity campus, stated news agency PTI.

“We organised a meet to discuss the judgment. We had a copy of the judgment and discussed some crucial portions of it and how the judiciary has again failed us,” said Imam as quoted by news agency PTI.

During the meeting, students were constantly raising the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan, which is apparently linked to the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, stated an organiser.

“They tried to instigate us but we did not indulge in any untoward incident and did not retaliate. The meeting went off peacefully,” another organiser said.