By SM.09 Jan, 2020
NEW DELHI: A huge protest march by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University -- bound for Rashtrapati Bhavan --- was stopped midway by the Delhi Police this evening. Frantic footage from the spot showed slogan-shouting students being dragged away and packed into buses by the police as they tried to breach the barricades.
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 this afternoon from Mandi House. The plan was to go to the offices of the HRD ministry and submit a memorandum regarding Sunday"s mob attack 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 to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and meet the president.
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 heart of the city.
Today"s face-off comes amid deep distrust of the police by the students.
Those present at the premier university during Sunday"s attack, had alleged that the police remained mute bystanders as masked goons, armed with sticks and iron bars, had beaten up students and teachers. At least 19 students and five faculty members were injured and needed medical treatment.
An inquiry is being held into the matter an the report will be shared with the home ministry.
The 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.