Clashes were reported on Tuesday, November 19, at the Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh among the student leaders of the Left and ABVP students over the hike in the hostel fee in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Left-wing groups started a march to protest against the government for the fee hike and soon the ABVP students opposed it which resulted in the clashes. The clashes reportedly took place around 3 to 4 pm.
The protests by JNU students over hostel fee hike is "politically-motivated" and a reaction to the Modi government's strong measures to stop activities of those who wanted to make the institute a centre of "urban Naxalism", Union minister Giriraj Singh said on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters, Singh, who is known for his hardline views, said the issue of fee hike is merely an excuse as the fee charged by the JNU administration should be compared with that of the Delhi University and other central institutions.
"We have seen in the past that 'tukde-tukde gang' would raise slogans against India and commemorate the death anniversary of Afzal Guru. "The Modi government has put a stop to these activities. The protests we are seeing now is politically motivate and the fee hike issue is merely an excuse," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Republic Media Network was blocked from the JNU Students Union press conference. As the Republic journalists tried to ask their questions, their mics were repeatedly removed, even as they were subjected to heckling and were gheraoed for upholding the right to report. However, in the face of this attack, Republic's reporters continued to ask questions over the JNU students' protests which have severely debilitated life for the common man in New Delhi in the last week.
The students of JNU have been protesting for the last few weeks about the new hostel manual which advocated a hike in hostel fees, dress code regulations, and curfew timings. While the JNU administration announced a partial rollback of some of the contentious provisions, the students expressed their dissatisfaction. On November 17, the JNU administration called upon the students to return to their classes and resume their academic work. On Monday morning, a large group of protesting students decided to march to Parliament demanding a complete rollback of the hostel manual.