The talks between the Union HRD Ministry and the protesting students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) failed yet again on Thursday as the protestors said no compromise is possible on their demands for review of fee hike and removal of Vice-Chancellor M Jagdesh Kumar.

After the talks broke down, the Police used force to remove protesting students who decided to march to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

BJP leader supports

Leaders from various Opposition parties reiterated their support for the students. In a surprise move, former HRD Minister and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi also joined the chorus of demand to remove the JNU Vice-Chancellor. The leaders of various Opposition parties joined the students and teachers in a citizens’ march to the HRD Ministry demanding Kumar’s removal.

Addressing protestors, Yechury said the Delhi Police failed to arrest the culprits behind the violence and demanded that the Vice Chancellor’s role must also be probed. “JNU V-C must be removed. For three hours, he allowed people to vandalise the campus and hurt students and teachers badly. Police was outside but he didn’t call them inside. He only called them inside when it was over. It is clear V-C is complicit,” Yechury charged.

Joshi, citing reports, said the HRD Ministry had twice advised the V-C of the JNU to implement certain ‘reasonable and working formula’ for resolving the issue of enhanced fees in JNU. “He was also advised to reach out to the teachers and students. It is shocking that the V-C is adamant for not implementing the Government proposal. This attitude is deplorable and in my opinion such a V-C should not be allowed to continue in this post,” he said.

The Congress said 72 hours have elapsed since the violence in JNU and and there was a method behind that attack. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh alleged, “Who was behind this violence, we all know very well. I make a direct charge that HRD Minister and the Home Minister are responsible for the incident. This is nothing but an officially sponsored ‘goondaism’. 72 hours have passed and Delhi Police knows who should be arrested but no arrest has been made so far in this regard. This is negligence, but a deliberate negligence,” he accused.

“It has become amply clear that as long the present Vice-Chancellor remains in his position, there is no scope for normalisation of the situation. The government should ask the V-C to resign forthwith,” he said.

He said it was strange that the Secretary HRD Ministry was transferred after he tried to find a formula to end the protests over fee hike. He said a Congress team, constituted under the Chairmanship of Sushmita Dev, will submit its report on the issue to the Congress President.

Apart from various student organisations such as the SFI, AISF, AISA and AIDSO, political leaders such as Yechury, D Raja, Prakash Karat, Sharad Yadav and Manoj Jha participated in the citizens march along with economists Prabhat patnaik, CP Chandrashekhar, Surajit Mazumdar and Jayati Ghosh.