The CPI(M) Politburo on Tuesday condemned the police action against JNU students who were protesting against the recently announced hike in hostel fees and said the fee increase was to ensure that the university becomes "elitist".
Shouting slogans and raising banners, thousands of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students clashed with the police on Monday as their protest over the steep fee hike escalated, leaving Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ''Nishank'' stranded for over six hours at the venue of the university's convocation.
"This hike will only ensure that JNU will become an elitist university as against its current character that promotes students from diverse backgrounds to afford higher education. According to JNU's annual report, around 40 per cent of the students admitted in 2017 had a parental income of less than Rs 12,000 per month," the party said in a statement.
It further said that JNU has produced generations of "socially conscious" citizens and nation builders due to this character of providing affordable education drawing in students from the backward regions and marginalised sections.
"This blossoming of talent at affordable cost is what is being attacked. This is not acceptable. The obdurate refusal by the vice-chancellor to even discuss with the student union leaders is what led to this situation. The Union HRD minister has assured the students that he shall direct the VC to start talks with them. This should be immediately done," the statement said.