A day after around 100 JNU students were detained and several injured in a lathicharge by police during a protest march against hostel fee hike, the issue took a political turn Tuesday when Opposition parties disrupted proceedings in both Houses of Parliament, alleging police excesses against the students.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh slammed the police alleging that it was for the first time that students of the university were “beaten mercilessly” for raising demands. “It is the same Delhi Police that was complaining that their uniform was tainted after they were assaulted by lawyers. Does beating innocent students, including a visually challenged one, not taint their uniform,” Singh said.
Voicing similar concerns, Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said that use of police force on the students was barbaric and unprecedented. “The Modi government and the JNU administration should understand that the students are not only fighting for themselves but also for the future of their community,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.
Raja alleged that the JNU administration was trying to “repress” the democratic voice of dissent by the students with use of police force to impose its “agenda” which was against the fundamental values of the varsity.
In an attempt to douse the uproar in the Upper House, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the adjournment notices received from members do not warrant setting aside the listed business of the day. He further warned the members that he would be forced to adjourn the proceedings if they continued to protest in the House. “You will be disturbing the entire House. That is not a matter to adjourn business,” Naidu said.
As the uproar refused to die down, Naidu adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.
Similarly in Lok Sabha, Opposition members during the Zero Hour termed the alleged lathicharge by the police on JNU students as “suppression of voice”. Saugata Roy (TMC), T N Prathapan (Cong) and Danish Ali (BSP) accused the government of using force to suppress the voice of students.
Calling the police’s action on the students as “unfortunate”, Roy said the hike should be rolled back as poor students will find it difficult to pay the amount, while Prathpan said the students are protesting for their rights. “The government is undemocratically suppressing their voice against fee hike. The government is ruining higher education institutions,” PTI quoted Prathpan as saying.
He also demanded a high-level probe into the “atrocities” committed against students of the university. Danish Ali too demanded a probe into the lathicharge and sought an “apology” from the government.
BP shoots up when Nehru’s name comes up, Gehlot hits out at BJP
Taking an apparent dig at the BJP government over the JNU protest, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Tuesday said some people’s blood pressure shoots up at the mention of the country’s first prime minister. “They are after JNU,” he told reporters in Jaipur.
Gehlot alleged that the NDA government wants to play politics by belittling the legacy of leaders like Nehru and Indira Gandhi, among others, and was misleading the new generation through social media.
“Wherever Jawaharlal Nehru’s name comes up, their BP (blood pressure) shoots up. Then these people take action against them… this tradition is not right,” he said.
He further appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to change his view and give credit to those who contributed in the development of the country and also tell the citizens about it.
Delhi Police file FIR
The Delhi Police has registered an FIR in connection with the protests by JNU students over the hostel fee hike, a senior police official said. Without divulging any details, the official said the FIR has been registered under the relevant sections of the law.
The police said that 15 students and 30 personnel were injured during the eight-hour protest. On Monday, they denied using force against the protestors even as students took to social media to share images of those injured in the lathicharge.
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