Image courtesy PTI

Hundreds of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students on November 18 started their protest march from the university campus towards the Parliament amid heavy police deployment.

With posters in hand, hundreds of students chanted anti-fee hike slogans as they demanded a complete rollback of the hostel fee hike.  At least 50 students were detained and hundreds were stopped by the police near the campus after they began their march towards the Parliament.

Authorities have imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Code of Procedure, which prohibits the assembly of four or more people, around Parliament area.

The police said ten companies have been deployed outside JNU. One company comprises 70 to 80 personnel. The protesting students broke barricades, even as a heavy contingent of police personnel was deployed outside the campus to monitor the situation.

Former JNU Students’ Union president N Sai Balaji said, “Delhi Police stops JNU students peaceful march to parliamentarians! The Mhrd is fooling students by forming committee. Why didn’t the committee suspend fee hike till dialogue is happening? We are demanding a rollback of the fee hike.”

The entry and exit points of three Delhi Metro stations near Parliament have also been shut down temporarily. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation tweeted: “Entry or exit at Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk and Central Secretariat have been opened. Trains are halting at all 3 stations. Entry/exit gates for Lok Kalyan Marg are still closed and trains will not be halting at the station.”

On November 17, JNU Vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar had urged the protesting students to return to their classes. In a video message released on the varsity’s website, he said: “he has been getting e-mails from worried parents and students about the situation in the university which is affecting academic activities”.

(with inputs from PTI)

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