NEW DELHI – A huge protest march by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) met with lathicharge and large-scale detentions by the Delhi Police Thursday evening. Several students were injured and three busloads of protesters were detained by the police.
Students, teachers and civil society groups — including senior political leaders Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat and Sharad Yadav — had started the march from Mandi House. The plan was to go to the offices of the HRD ministry and submit a memorandum regarding Sunday’s mob attack by the masked goons at the university campus and their demand for the resignation of the university’s vice-chancellor.
But after the meeting with the HRD officials, the students, led by JNU students’ union leader Aishe Ghosh, decided to move towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
According to NDTV, the students decided to meet President Ram Nath Kovind after the HRD Secretary suggested that he would speak to Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to which students objected. They wanted the vice chancellor removed, they said, and decided to march to the Rashrapati Bhavan.
As the police refused to allow that, the slogan shouting started. Amid screams of “Delhi Police murdabad (down with Delhi Police),” the detentions began. The students have been taken to the police station at the Connaught Place.
The Sunday attack has triggered nationwide protests, in which not just the student committee, but the civil society, Bollywood and political leaders have joined in.
The student protests have been continuing from Sunday, in which students from premier institutes like IITs, IIMs and apolitical institutions like Kolkata’s St Xavier’s College and Delhi’s St Stephen’s have raised voices.