LS: Oppn condemns police action against JNU students

Jawaharlal Nehru University students block a road as they protest demanding a total rollback of the hostel fee hike, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Police crackdown on the JNU students protesting hostel fee hike and other changes in the hostel rules resonated in Parliament on Tuesday, with the Opposition members in the Lok Sabha describing the action as "suppression of the students' voice."

Disrupting the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition members condemned the police crackdown on the JNU students. They also slammed the Modi government and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration, accusing them of "repressing" a democratic movement.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed adjournment of its proceedings in the first half of the day following protests by the members of the Left parties who wanted discussion in the House on the police action against the JNU students and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Delhi police lodged two FIRs against the JNU students in connection with their massive protest on Monday. The students were booked under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) allegedly for rioting, unlawful assembly and obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions and causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty.

Several students including those visually challenged had sustained critical injuries in the police lathi-charge on Monday. Hundreds of the JNU students had undertaken a march to Parliament demanding rollback of the hostel fee hike and other changes in the hostel rules.

The Delhi Police claimed that some of its security personnel had also sustained injuries. 

Raising the issue in Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, the members of the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) demanded “a high-level probe” into the “police atrocities” against the JNU students.

Congress member T N Prathapan also sought an "apology" from the government, saying the students were protesting for their rights.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Saugata Roy dubbed the use of force by the police on students as "unfortunate" and demanded roll back of the hike in the hostel fee, saying students coming from the economically weaker sections will find it difficult to pay the amount.

In Rajya Sabha, CPI general secretary D Raja termed the use of police force on the students as “barbaric and unprecedented.”

Meanwhile, the JNU students union (JNUSU) alleged that policemen had not just beaten up the students but also groped several women students on Monday. “It's very shameful,” JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said, holding a press conference in the campus.

The JNUSU also demanded that no administrative or legal action should be taken against the students protesting against the fee hike.

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