JNU Protest: A March to Save Public Education Foiled - KNT Diary

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

JNU Protest: A March to Save Public Education Foiled

JNU Protest: A March to Save Public Education Foiled

On Monday, 18 November 2019, from 10 AM, thousands of JNU Students were marching towards Parliament on its first day of Winter Session demanding a total rollback of the hostel fee hike. The March was stopped by Delhi police first at Ber Sarai and again at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan where it was stalled till night.

Below are the JNUSU Statement on 'a brutal crackdown on students' and their call for a press conference today, JNUTA Joint Statement which 'condemns in the strongest terms the brutal and completely uncalled for violence the Delhi Police today unleashed against JNU students and teachers' and Press Release of the Federation of Central Universities Teachers' Associations (FEDCUTA) which 'condemns in no uncertain terms the shocking display of brute force today against students'.


JNUSU Statement & Appeal to the Students-Youth of our Country

18th November shall be remembered as a historic day for all the students and youth of this country. On the day the Parliament of India sat for its 250th session, with the commencement of the winter session, the national capital saw a brutal crackdown on students. Blood was spilt on the roads of the National Capital. 

The citizens of this country and people around the world will remember this black day, when ordinary students rose up in defence of affordable public education only to be abused, roughed up and beaten up but not defeated. The Delhi Police and its actions, directly controlled by the Home Ministry, are beyond condemnation.

Students from JNU today took to the streets of Delhi to safeguard public education. While JNU walked, its spirit and voice was that of the millions of young students who come from diverse and the most marginalized backgrounds that have entered universities/colleges across India or wish to join one of them. What has been sparked off in JNU is the defining battle of our times; to ensure universities remain affordable and accessible. No more exclusions, no more discriminations. Universities will be open, it become the cradle of the real New India.

Today the JNUSU met the MHRD secretary and we wish to inform the JNU Community and all concerned members of the public that despite all efforts the MHRD and particularly the JNU VC are taking no cognisance of the demands of the students. They are only interested in diffusing the situation but not willing to make the fundamental guarantee that fee hikes will be rolled back and no further steps will be taken to make education a commodity that is bought and sold. However, it is our collective strength because of which the MHRD has decided to include all elected representatives of the JNUSU and the Hostel Presidents in the enquiry process of the High Powered Enquiry Committee (HPEC) as the stakeholders of the university.

As of 18 November 2019, the JNUSU would therefore like to reiterate the following demands: 

1. Immediate Rollback of the illegally passed draft manual, and fee structure, along with declaration of the IHA meeting 28/10/19 as null and void. 

2. Initiation of dialogue between the JNU Administration and the Student Community, represented by the elected student representatives, the JNUSU, and the Hostel Presidents.

3. Reconvening the IHA Meeting, according to due procedure outlined in the old hostel manual.

4. The MHRD and the HPEC should take serious cognizance of the illegalities in the JNU, perpetuated under the aegis of the JNU VC, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, and recommend his removal from the post of JNU VC. 

In this regard we invite media persons to join us for a press conference today, 19/11/19, at 4.00 pm, at Freedom Square. We also appeal to students, who have been victims of the brutalities at the hands of Delhi Police, to join us and share their narratives with the media, so that we can together expose the Delhi Police and the Home Ministry.

This is no longer a protest, it is a question of survival- of students and the idea of affordable and accessible public education. We appeal to all students and youth across the country to rise up to defend this collective right of all of us and let our voices reverberate in the Parliament of India. Let the present government see how New India is forged by the students and youth of this country. 

JNUSU

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Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association

New Delhi-110067
18 November2019

JNUTA STATEMENT
GOVERNMENT ACCEPTS THAT JNU VC IS A FAILURE
POLICE UNLEASHES BRUTAL ASSAULT ON STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

The JNUTA condemns in the strongest terms the brutal and completely uncalled for violence the Delhi Police today unleashed against JNU students and teachers. In the process of preventing the students from exercising their democratic right to march to Parliament, the Police inflicted severe violence on students on several occasions, outside JNU and then at Jorbagh, which seriously injured many of them. Physically and visually disabled students were also not spared. At Jorbagh, even teachers who had gone as part of a JNUTA effort to ensure peace was maintained were assaulted by the Police with full knowledge of their status as teachers. Hundreds of students were also arrested today and taken to several different police stations scattered across the city, and despite efforts of groups of teachers who visited them, there were in delays in providing them medical treatment. Some students are still in hospital with grave injuries and the JNUTA hopes for their quick recovery.

The JNUTA also notes that MHRD has constituted a three member High Power Committee to facilitate restoration of normalcy in the University “through a dialogue with all the stakeholders and to advise the JNU Administraton for resolution of contentious issues”. The JNUTA sees the constitution of this committee as a clear acknowledgement by even the MHRD that the JNU Administration led by the Vice Chancellor is incapable of running this University. It would only be fitting therefore if the VC steps down from his position immediately. The JNUTA is also of the firm view that the conditions for dialogue have to be created by first withdrawing the new Hostel Manual and the steep hike in charges. Further, the legitimate body of students, the JNUSU, must be granted its due recognition in this process of dialogue. Without these minimum steps, the constitution of the Committee would appear to be only a ploy for derailing the protests.

The JNUTA will be organizing a protest tomorrow, 19th November 2019, at 4.00 p.m. against police brutality and demanding that the JNU VC must go. The details will be announced after consultation with the JNUSU. The JNUTA appeals to all colleagues to participate in this protest in large numbers.

Sd/- Sd/-

D.K. Lobiyal Surajit Mazumdar

President, JNUTA Secretary, JNUTA

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Press Release: 18 November 2019

FEDCUTA condemns police crackdown on JNU students

The Federation of Central Universities Teachers' Associations (FEDCUTA) condemns in no uncertain terms the shocking display of brute force today against students who were marching to Parliament to demand the rollback of the massive fee hike. Teachers too were not spared from this brutal assault. The massive deployment of police in and around campus reveals the insecurity of the JNU administration that first unilaterally changed the hostel rules without consulting the stakeholders and has subsequently refused to engage with the protesting students. It has been consistently maligning the students by even refusing to accept the elected students union as the legitimate voice of students.

The FEDCUTA expresses its solidarity with the students of JNU who are standing up against the Government’s agenda to privatize public funded education and make education inaccessible to large sections of the country’s population. Even as the new National Education Policy espouses the withdrawal of grants to push universities into a loan based and self-financing model, students and teachers across the country stand united to resist such policy measures that have already been put in place in IITs, IIMs and now is being pushed in JNU.

The FEDCUTA joins the JNUTA and JNUSU in demanding a complete rollback of the fee hike and an end to the crushing of democratic protests through such draconian police actions.

Rajib Ray, President
DK Lobiyal, Secretary

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