A tense showdown between hundreds of protesting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students and Delhi Police on Monday left at least 15 students injured, including a visually-impaired student.
Some students and faculty members who spoke to the media claimed that Delhi Police used brutal force during their protest and baton-charged several students who participated in the protest march against hostel fee hike.
It has been confirmed that visually-impaired Shashi Bhushan Samad, a JNUSU councilor, was beaten up brutally by cops and is currently undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
Shashi Bhushan Samad, revolutionary singer, councillor, JNUSU has been brutally beaten up. He is visually challenged. Inspite of that Police stamped his chest with boots. He is in AIIMS Trauma Centre. His condition is critical.#JNUProtestspic.twitter.com/KNfAE8dIEo
N Sai Balaji (@nsaibalaji) November 18, 2019
Reports also indicate that Samad’s condition is critical from the injuries suffered during the protest.
A PTI report also indicated that several other protesting students were also injured after being beaten brutally by cops as they took out a march to the parliament.
JNU students took out a march from the university premises to parliament but were stopped at Baba Gang Nath Marg near the campus from where nearly 100 protestors, including students’ union president Aishe Ghosh, were detained.
Ghosh said that there were no women police personnel and that she was picked up by four male policemen and put inside the bus.
“I was picked up by four male policemen and put inside a bus. When I questioned them about the absence of women police personnel, they were rude to me,” she said.
Meanwhile, former JNUSU president N Sai Balaji claimed that detained students, who were taken inside the buses, were thrashed by police personnel.
Sandeep Louis, a former student, was also among the injured, reported news agency PTI.
“He was trying to climb the barricade when police thrashed him. He was bleeding from the head but was led by police to a van so that he could be detained,” said Abhishek, his friend, told the news agency.
Not just Samad but other physically-challenged students were also beaten up, Abhishek alleged.
“The visually challenged were running here and there, trying to escape the police assault. Protestors were sitting peacefully at Jor Bagh but were lathicharged by police as they tried to disperse the students,” claimed another student requesting anonymity.
A photographer working with a news portal was also injured during the baton charge by Delhi Police when protesting students reached Safdarjung Tomb at around 4 pm.
The JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) condemned police action. “Police inflicted severe violence on students on several occasions, outside JNU and then at Jor Bagh, which seriously injured many of them. Physically and visually disabled students were also not spared,” JNUTA said in a statement.
However, Delhi Police issued a statement denying all the allegations against them.
COPS DENY CLAIM
Denying all accusations, Delhi Police claimed that no force was used by any personnel and added that around 30 police personnel were injured while bringing the situation under control.
The police department said its personnel acted cautiously and “only resorted to methods of persuasion”.
“Today morning, a large number of students gathered at Jawahar Lal Nehru University to march towards the Parliament, even though they had been persuaded by Delhi Police not to do so violating the general orders.
However, irrespective of police appeals, they forced their way through by breaking the first line of police barricades. Senior police officers present at the spot further persuaded them not to continue any further march, since the high-powered committee had already been constituted to look into their demands,” the statement said.
“The Delhi Police staff acted with restraint all along and despite continued defiance by some groups of students, methods of persuasion were resorted to, and there was no use of water cannons, tear gas shells or lathi-charge at any stage of the protest,” it added.
However, video footage and pictures posted by students on social corroborates that fact that students were chased, dragged and even beaten brutally.
#WATCH Delhi: Clash between Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students and police, earlier today. Delhi Police PRO has said that they will inquire into lathi charge allegations made by JNU students. pic.twitter.com/5yOhuDBvdi
ANI (@ANI) November 18, 2019
WHAT NEXT IN JNU SHOWDOWN
As the situation stands, JNU students are demanding a complete rollback of hostel fees and the sacking of the vice-chancellor.
Following today’s protest by students, JNUSU office bearers were escorted by the police to meet with a senior official in the HRD ministry.
JNUSU vice-president Saket Moon said they met GC Hosur, the joint secretary of HRD ministry, and submitted a memorandum of demands to him.
“We met him and put forth a memorandum of demands. We demanded that the HRD panel must meet the students’ union and till the time the panel is working on the matter, the fee hike must be kept in abeyance. We also demanded the sacking of the vice-chancellor,” Moon said.
He said the official assured them that the panel will be meeting the students’ union office-bearers on Wednesday.
However, there was no official word from the ministry at the meeting.
JNUSU secretary Satish Chandra Yadav had earlier said that a delegation of JNUSU office-bearers was being taken by police to meet the HRD secretary.
As the four JNUSU members left with police officials, the force asked the protesters, who were camping outside Safdarjung Tomb to return to the university campus and pushed them back.
(With inputs from PTI)
Also watch: JNU fee hike row – Students’ march to Parliament halted by cops
(Video by Hindustan Times)
Published at Mon, 18 Nov 2019 10:42:21 +0000