Hundreds of students protested outside the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi on Monday against hike in hostel fee, dress code and curfew timings.

The massive protest comes as the students claim that Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar has turned down repeated requests to meet them and discuss the issue.

The agitating students also tried to march to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), where Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was addressing the university’s convocation at an auditorium. However, they were stopped by the police personnel stationed there.

The gates of the AICTE, around 3 km from the JNU, were locked and the security personnel were stationed in and outside the premises in wake of the protests that started in the morning. The students later reached the convocation area at around 11.30 am.

According to a senior officer, the students broke barricades and marched towards the auditorium. Some of the protesters have been detained.

The students were beating tambourines and raising slogans, with placards in their hands, calling Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar a “thief”. “Delhi Police Go Back” slogans were also being raised.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police is reported to have resorted to water cannons to disperse the protesting students.

While Naidu has left the campus, Pokhriyal is still reported to be inside the university premises. The students’ union has called for a boycott of the convocation.

Students have been protesting against the fee hike for more than a week now. They have claimed that the panel, that takes a call on fee, raised the amount without any consultation with the students’ body.

In a statement released before the protests, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union said the “fee hike crushes the dream of equality irrespective of ability to afford”.

“The Fee Hike will affect an overwhelming number of students. It denies those from the deprived sections to avail education if they cannot pay,” the statement read.

“It crushes the dream of equality irrespective of ability to afford. Other provisions like Dress Code and Curfew timings reflect the regressive dystopia that the admin wants JNU to become,” the student body added.

Meanwhile, police have taken the JNUSU office-bearers to meet the Vice-Chancellor.

The protest is part of the agitation against the hostel manual and several other issues like restrictions by the administration on entry to the Parthasarathy Rocks, attempts to lock students” union office, according to the students.

The students’ union have said the strike would not end the hostel manual is withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the youth wing of Congress has defended the students’ protest.