HRD Minister stuck inside auditorium for over 6 hours as JNU students protest

Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was able to leave the premises around 4.15 p.m.

Updated - November 11, 2019 08:20 pm IST

Published - November 11, 2019 05:12 pm IST - New Delhi

JNUSU students staging a protest march for Resistance to AICTE Auditorium, against the regressive hostel manual and anti student policies of JNU administration's in New Delhi on Monday.

JNUSU students staging a protest march for Resistance to AICTE Auditorium, against the regressive hostel manual and anti student policies of JNU administration's in New Delhi on Monday.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was stuck inside the AICTE auditorium here for over six hours on Monday as protests by JNU students escalated .

Mr. Pokhriyal, along with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, had gone to the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to attend the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s third convocation. While Mr. Naidu left the premises before the protest escalated, Mr. Pokhriyal had to stay inside.

“He is inside. But the situation has been handled. The minister has spoken to JNUSU president and assured their demands will be addressed,” a senior HRD Ministry official had said.

The minister left the AICTE premises around 4.15 p.m. and had to cancel two events scheduled at the Shastri Bhawan after the convocation.

Hundreds of students gathered outside the AICTE headquarters protesting against hostel fee hike. They reportedly wanted to march towards the AICTE premises where Mr. Naidu was addressing the university’s convocation at an auditorium.

The gates of the AICTE, around 3 km from JNU campus, were locked and security personnel were stationed within and outside the premises after the protest kicked off in the morning.

Barricades were placed outside the north and west gates of the campus, as well as on the route between the AICTE auditorium and JNU at Baba Balaknath Marg, near the traffic signal, underneath the flyover and near the venue, an officer said.

But students broke these blockades around 11:30 a.m. and marched towards the venue. The police had to use water cannons to disperse the protesters and some were detained.

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