Students protest Modi's visit

Police use water cannons, lathicharge to disperse agitators
Last Updated 06 February 2013, 20:18 IST

Some 200 students from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University protested on Wednesday outside Shri Ram College of Commerce for calling Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the key speaker in its marketing festival organised by the students’ union.

The protesters were seen shouting slogans against Modi. Water cannons were used against the students and they were lathicharged by police when they tried to break the barricade as Modi arrived at the venue.

“Modi’s vibrant Gujarat is  hogwash. The state is under crores of debt. It is a shame that Modi was called in a secular university when thousands of our brothers and sisters still live in a state of terror in Gujarat after the riots,” said Shikha, a DU student.

Seven students were detained, including the JNUSU joint secretary and a woman. They were released later.

“There were a handful of students and teachers who were supporting Modi, and they started abusing me. They even hit us. Police pulled us and abused us too. I was at Maurice Nagar police station. They did not give us anything in writing,” said Kopal, the only woman student who was detained.

Police were seen pulling protesters by their hair to be taken for detention.

“A policeman was about to hit me with his lathi. I was standing at a corner, and there was no violence. The students were not armed at all,” said a protester.

“When the policeman came to hit me, I did not run away. I told him to stop right there. He stopped maybe because I am a woman,” the protester added.

“When I asked police why they were assaulting peaceful students, a policeman told me to shut up,” said another protester.

The students were also seen collecting lathis that were snatched from police following a baton charge. They kept the lathis in a nearby car.

“We will not be violent. We will not use weapons of any kind. We are students and are taught to be non-violent. If we pick up weapons then there will no difference between Modi and us,” said a protester.

Security was tight in the area, and traffic jam ensued. All the gates of the college were also locked before Modi arrived.

(Published 06 February 2013, 10:21 IST)

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