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4 Major Metro Stations In Delhi Shut Gates Amid JNU Students’ Protest

New Delhi: 

Delhi Metro has closed entry and exit gates at the Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk. Lok Kalyan and Central Secretariat stations in the city after hundreds of students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) took to the streets to demand a full rollback of the recent hostel fee hike. In tweets posted on its official Twitter account, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said the decision to shut the key Yellow Line stations was taken after discussions with the police.

“As advised by Delhi Police, trains are not halting at Udyog Bhawan and Patel Chowk. Exit/Entry Gates for Udyog Bhawan, Patel Chowk and Central Secretariat have been closed temporarily… trains are (also) not halting at Lok Kalyan Marg and entry/exit gates of the station have also been closed temporarily,” the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said on its official Twitter account.

At least 50 JNU students were detained by Delhi Police this afternoon as they and hundreds of others marched on Parliament chanting anti-fee hike slogans and carrying posters and placards. The students’ body said the march was a “way to appeal to lawmakers to fight on our behalf inside the floor of the house”.

In response authorities imposed prohibitory orders both outside the parliament building and around the JNU campus, and set up barricades near Safdarjung Tomb in South Delhi to stop them from advancing any further.

Parliament began the first day of the Winter Session today.

Cops and students clashed as the latter group tried to climb the barricades.

“The students are struggling hard to clear the barricades installed by the Delhi police, but they admit that they might not reach parliament because of heavy police and CRPF deployment in the way,” a student was quoted by news agency IANS.

The students have been protesting a fee hike that was revealed in a recently released draft hostel manual. Last week, hundreds of students clashed with cops on the university’s convocation day. Policemen in riot gear, completely outnumbered by students, were seen jostling with the crowd.

The Education Ministry formed a three-member panel this morning to recommend measures to restore normal functioning of the university.

“With a view to restore the normal functioning of JNU through dialogue with all stakeholders and to advise the university administration for resolution of contentious issues, the government has appointed a three-member high power committee,” HRD Secretary R Subrahmanyam said.

The protests are primarily over hikes to fees for hostel rooms. The university has raised rent for a double room from Rs 10 per month to Rs 300 per month, that for a single room from Rs. 20 per month to Rs. 600 per month and increased one-time refundable mess security deposit from Rs. 5,500 to Rs. 12,000.

After last week’s protests the fees were rolled back, albeit only partially. Room rents have now been halved for students who are from the below poverty line (BPL) category.

The students dismissed the rollback, calling it an “eyewash”.

With input from IANS

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