NEW DELHI: Even as the Opposition members in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday described the alleged baton-charge by police on JNU students as “suppression of voice”, the police lodged two FIRs in connection with the protest. The JNU Students’ Union, however, demanded that no administrative or legal action be taken against students protesting against a hostel fee hike.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha, Saugata Roy and Danish Ali also raised the issue of lathi charge on JNU students by the police. While Mr Roy asked for a discussion on the issue, Mr Danish Ali sought a high level investigation on the issue. Congress MP T.N. Prathapan said the fee hike in JNU was wrong and use of force on the students was undemocratic.
“Most of the students in JNU come from poorest conditions. It is undemocratic that this government is suppressing the voice of the students using CRPF and police. This government is ruining every higher educational institution in the country. Whether it is JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia University or Hyderabad University, this government is just ruining the institutions. If the students’ community comes out for their rights, your arrogance will end. I request this government to withdraw the fee hike in JNU and protect the right of free public education,” Mr Prathapan said.
Demanding that no administrative or legal action be taken against the protesters, JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said they had a meeting with HRD ministry joint secretary G.C. Hosur and requested him to ensure no administrative action against students. “Students have been getting notices through e-mail for these protests. But these protests are for a just cause and no student will pay even a single-rupee fine,” she told reporters.
The police, however, registered one FIR at the Kishangarh police station, while another was lodged at the Lodhi Colony. According to DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur, a case under IPC Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) was registered.
IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 151 (knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act were also added.