FIVE DAYS after Uttar Pradesh Police arrested 14 students of Lucknow University for allegedly showing black flags to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to the campus, the Congress on Tuesday came out in support of the students and alleged that the university had used funds to “please the chief minister” rather than to educate students. Congress Legislature Party Leader Ajay Kumar “Lallu”, member of Legislative Council Deepak Singh along with leaders of NSUI, Congress’ student wing, first demonstrated near Gandhi Statue in the heart of Lucknow in support of the protesting students. The delegation then met the students lodged in jail and promised them to offer support in getting them released.
The leaders also met Governor Ram Naik and submitted a memorandum, requesting him to direct the government to withdraw cases against the students and also revoke their suspension from the university. Congress leaders alleged that the students initially wanted to meet the university’s Vice-Chancellor with their demands but as the V-C refused to meet them, they decided to register their protest in front of the chief minister.
“In a democratic set-up, students have the right to protest but this government has tried to suppress the students’ movement rather than listening to them. These students wanted to meet the Vice-Chancellor to ask him as to why the university was spending Rs 25 lakh for a non-academic function. But the V-C did not meet them. The students were, therefore, forced to protest in front of the chief minister to raise their demand but were arrested instead,” said Ajay Kumar.
The Congress leader said that the Governor has promised that he would speak to the chief minister in this regard. “The Governor told us that even he has been involved in students politics. Students launch movements to make their point. But, they have never been suppressed in this manner. We are also the product of student politics. Congress has thus decided to support them,” he added.