JNU students meet HRD officials, Delhi Police detains protestors marching towards Rashtrapati Bhavan

Hundreds of JNU students on Thursday marched to the HRD Ministry and were later stopped when they tried to go towards Rashtrapati Bhavan during when some of them were roughed up by police who used mild force, in escalating protests for the sacking of the university Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar over the violence in the campus.

The march in which students of other universities also participated started from Mandi House in central Delhi and was first stopped near Shastri Bhavan that houses the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). Carrying placards and banners, slogans of ‘Halla Bol’ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ rent the air.

CPI(M) leaders Sitaram Yechury, Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat and CPI leader D Raja also joined the march.

The police, however, allowed the representatives of JNU students and teachers association to meet the ministry officials.

Clamour for V-C’s resignation grows

After the meeting that lasted for more than an hour, Aishe Ghosh addressed the gathering and said she told the officials that the attack on students and teachers was a “traumatic incident” something that “they will remember till their last breath”.

She asserted they would not settle for anything less than the sacking of the vice-chancellor.

“The HRD is still thinking about whether he should be removed or not. We appealed to the ministry to remove the vice-chancellor. It told us that they will hold a dialogue with us on Friday,” Ghosh said.

Higher Education secretary Amit Khare said the basic issue on which the problem arose needs to be addressed first.

“His removal is not the solution. Changing X, Y, Z is not as important as resolving the issues that have cropped up on the campus,” Khare said.

The demand for Kumar’s removal has been growing after Sunday’s mob violence on the campus. Kumar has been accused of not doing enough when the students were being attacked.

As the Delhi police struggled to make any arrest four days after the brutal attack on students and teachers by masked goons, former HRD minister and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi threw his weight behind the demand for Kumar’s removal.

Calling for Kumar’s removal, Joshi took to twitter to say it is “shocking” that he is adamant on not implementing a government proposal to resolve the fee-hike crisis in the prestigious university.

The Centre for its part ruled out the removal of the vice-chancellor even as the leaders of the protesting students including an injured JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh asserted they will not compromise on their demand despite assurances relating to their security.

Kumar told PTI that the varsity has formed a five-member committee to probe the January 5 violence on the campus that left about 35 people injured and recommend measures to ensure the safety of students. The panel will also probe lapses, if any, in security, he said.

Delhi Police roughs up, detains protestors

After the meeting, Ghosh abruptly announced they will proceed to the Rashtrapati Bhavan since the President is the visitor of the varsity.

Later, the protesting students tried to march towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan but were stopped triggering a 30-minute drama.

Some of the students were reported to be injured as police roughed them up.

The police also resorted to mild force to control the crowd who tried to block the traffic at Janpath. Using loudspeakers, the police also appealed to them to maintain peace.

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