New Delhi: About 300 Delhi University (DU) students picketed the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station on Thursday, restricting the entry of commuters at one of the gates for more than two hours to demand rollback of the metro fare hike. They gave DMRC a week to announce a rollback.
Students from various colleges of the university, including those located off-campus like Shraddhanand College, demonstrated outside the gate which opens towards the campus with slogans against the Delhi Metro. They submitted a memorandum to a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official who was forced to come out to assuage the restless crowd.
“We give you one week’s time. If we do not hear from the DMRC within this time with a decision to rollback the hike, we will show what the students can do,” All India Students’ Association DU head Kawalpreet Kaur said addressing the protesters in the presence of the Delhi Metro official.
“If need be, we will protest outside the CM’s (Arvind Kejriwal) and PM’s (Narendra Modi) house,” she added.
The protesters dispersed only after the official, Y. Vashishth, promised that he will forward their memorandum immediately to his “seniors”.
Scores of police personnel who remained mere spectators for most part of the demonstration, swung into action when students decided to get down on the Mall Road forming a human chain and caused a brief traffic jam.
Earlier, squatting on the road, the students demanded to meet a DMRC official, and were dragged off it and made to gather on the side road by the police.
Although many among the protesters were from the CPI-Marxist-Leninist affiliated AISA, the demand for the roll-back and a metro pass for students resonated with many others who queued up outside the station.
“The protest is totally legitimate. I come from Dwarka and have to spend about Rs 100 everyday only on commuting. The cause for protesting is worth all the trouble to the commuters,” Abhinav Lal, a St. Stephens College student, told IANS.
“Protesting is everyone’s right. We demand the rollback. It will be good for the students,” Ashraf, a student of Hindu College, said.