Protesting against Tuesday’s police action, members of the Students Federation of India and Students For Society disrupted classes on the Panjab University campus and staged a dharna outside vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover’s office on Wednesday.
Raising slogans against the Chandigarh Police and PU authorities, they went to every department, forced their way into lecture theatres and asked students to leave. Defying prohibitory orders, about 150 students gathered outside the V-C’s office and protested demanding cancellation of FIR registered against nine students who were arrested on Tuesday on charges of rioting, assault, to deter a public servant on duty and molestation. Members of Student Organisation of Panjab University, National Student Union of India and Panjab University Student Union also joined the protest.
The arrested students were produced before the duty magistrate around 8.30 pm on Tuesday and were remanded in 14-day judicial custody. A bail application was moved in a local court, which will be heard on Thursday, said Lavneet Thakur, advocate and ex-president of SFI. He added that protests would continue till the students were released. “Police have falsely implicated our friends. CCTV cameras installed outside the V-C office will show that nothing of this sort happened,” said Avtar Singh, a member of SFS. Malkit Singh, SHO of Sector 11 police station, said they were yet to acquire the CCTV footage.
Meanwhile, students on the 26th day continued with their protest against the proposed fee hike from the new academic session outside the V-C’s office.
AAP candidate Gul Panag visited the campus and extended her support to the students, saying their demands were justified. President of the Panjab University Teachers Union Devinder Singh condemned the police action and demanded withdrawal of criminal charges.