The Gujarat National Students Union of India (NSUI), the youth wing of Indian National Congress, protested on Monday after over a dozen of their workers were detained by police in Ahmedabad and Anand.
According to office bearers of Gujarat NSUI, as many as 12 workers in Ahmedabad and four workers in Anand were detained, from their residences in the wee hours of Monday, by the police in order to deter them from staging a protest in Ahmedabad later during the day.
The NSUI claimed that a mass protest was planned on Monday in Ahmedabad in front of the district education officer’s office, demanding waiving off of fees for schools across Gujarat.
“Our volunteers from various cities were planning on attending the protest in Ahmedabad. However, in Anand, our district president and three other workers were detained by the police. In Ahmedabad, 12 of our workers were detained from their residences around midnight on Monday and kept in different police stations. They were finally released on Monday afternoon. This tactic by the Gujarat government is not going to deter us as we will stage further protests in the coming days, demanding immediate waiving off of school fees being charged even during the pandemic. Our motto is clear — till the time schools are closed, no fees should be charged,” said Bhavik Solanki, general secretary of Gujarat NSUI.
A senior official of Anand police said, “We had taken a few workers of NSUI under preventive custody as they could have formed unlawful assembly during the pandemic in Ahmedabad. They were released after some time.”
Meanwhile, Manish Doshi, spokesperson of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), spoke in favour of auto rickshaw drivers whose livelihood has been affected due to lockdown in Gujarat.
“Auto rickshaw drivers have suffered great hardships during the lockdown in Gujarat, but no relief has been given to them yet. The Delhi and Telangana government have announced relief packages for them, but no decision as such (has been taken) by the Gujarat government. We demand that the state government provide them a relief fund of Rs 15,000 each for three months and waive the electricity and school fees of their children . On July 7, a one-day strike will be observed by the 2.20-lakh-strong auto rickshaw drivers’ community in Ahmedabad,” said Doshi.
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