Opposition raises JNU protest in Rajya Sabha; police file two FIRs
The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha was disrupted on Tuesday (November 19) as the opposition parties raised up the issue of police action on protesting students of JNU while slamming the Modi government and the varsity administration for “repressing” a democratic movement.
The proceedings of the Rajya Sabha was disrupted on Tuesday (November 19) as the opposition parties raised up the issue of police action on protesting students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) while slamming the Modi government and the varsity administration for “repressing” a democratic movement.
The session had to be adjourned for the day after the opposition’s uproar over alleged police action on protesting JNU students and detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. The JNU students were protesting against a draft hostel manual that included a hike in hostel fees, demanding a complete rollback of the hike.
— ANI (@ANI) November 19, 2019
Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said that the use of police force on the students was barbaric and unprecedented.
“The Modi government and the JNU administration should understand that the students are not only fighting for themselves but also for the future of their community,” Raja said.
AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh too slammed the police action against students and said, “It is the same Delhi Police that was complaining that their uniform was tainted after they were assaulted by lawyers. Does beating innocent students, including a visually challenged one, not taint their uniform,” Singh asked.
However, the ruling BJP leaders expressed scepticism regarding the issue with union minister Giriraj Singh alleging that some people wanted to turn JNU into a centre of “urban Naxalism”.
“The hostel fee hike is a pretext for whatever is happening in JNU. It’s the same JNU where Bharat Tere Tukde Honge slogans were raised,” said Singh.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police lodged two FIRs on Tuesday under various sections of the IPC in connection with the protest by JNU students, a senior police official said. One FIR was registered at the Kishangarh police station while another at the Lodhi Colony police station.
About 100 students were detained by the police earlier and some were injured when police allegedly baton-charged protesters as they marched towards Parliament on Monday (November 18). They were released the next day.
While addressing a press conference on Tuesday, JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh also raised allegations of sexual harassment by the police.
“The manner in which the police handled the situation is very shameful. We were groped by male police officers,” she alleged.
Ghosh said female police officers were present at the spot, but it was the male officers who had manhandled and even groped the female students.
She added that they were taken to the Delhi Cantonment police station and then to Saket as a tactic to delay the continuation of their protests.
She further declared that the protests would go on until the vice-chancellor issues directions for a complete rollback of the fee hike. The students’ union also demanded the resignation of the V-C if they failed to do so.
A meeting of the JNUSU leaders with the Joint Secretary of the Human Resource Ministry is currently underway.
(With inputs from agencies)