Hundreds of Occupy UGC protesters faced lathicharge, tear gas and water cannons when they tried to march towards Parliament Wednesday. Several protesters were beaten up by policemen and some of them were seriously injured.
The protesters later filed a complaint at the Parliament Street police station, accusing the policemen of brutality and sexual harassment.
Hundreds of students from the Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and many other varsities had participated in the protest.
“As soon as we reached Firoz Shah Road, there was an unprovoked attack on us, with police brutally lathicharging us and using water cannons against us,” said Sagnik Banerjee, a protester.
The police also used tear gas. While a large number of protesters were stopped at Firoz Shah Road, some of them were picked up in police buses. Some women protesters claimed that they were manhandled.
“They hit us with lathis on our head… we were handled by male constables, who misbehaved with us,” said a woman protester. In their complaint, the protesters have mentioned the “sexually coloured crackdown”. They also alleged that police refused to lodge a complaint.
The protesters were taken to the Parliament Street police station and they were not allowed to leave for hours.
However, police claimed that the protesters turned violent and attacked them. “The force was used to stop them from marching towards Parliament. The scheduled path was ITO via Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar. But as the protesters reached Mandi House, they started running towards Firoze Shah Road. We tried to stop them at the Le-Maridien roundabout, where they turned violent and attacked police officials,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal.
Some protesters and policemen were injured, said the police, adding that 150 protesters were detained but let off later.