New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was on Monday confined within the Jawaharlal Nehru University premises for over five hours as hundreds of students laid a virtual siege at the campus, protesting outside the varsity gate against a hike in fees and some other decisions taken by the JNU administration.
Pokhriyal who reached JNU at around 11 a.m. was escorted out of the campus at about 4 p.m. after hours of confinement, when top police officials, including Special Commissioner R.S. Krishnia entered the premises.
Earlier, the police and central paramilitary forces, who were deployed in strength, used water cannons to disperse the students but they remained steadfast for hours.
The students, organised by the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) were protesting the latest order of the JNU administration, hiking the hostel, mess and security fees reportedly by 400 per cent. The administration has also limited the hostel timings.
The protests took place at a time when the varsity was hosting a convocation where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Pokhriyal were present. While Naidu left after delivering the lecture, Pokhriyal was stuck there for hours.
The students’ union had called for a boycott of the convocation and demanded rollback of the hostel draft manual and fee hike proposed by the administration.