The Delhi Police on Tuesday filed two FIRs against the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for damaging public property, rioting and obstructing public servants from discharging their duty during the protest against the hostel fee hike. Police action came after the clash between police and students during the protest march by the protesters on Monday.
However, the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU), on Tuesday demanded that no administrative or legal action should be taken against the students protesting against the hostel fee hike.
JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said they had a meeting with the Joint Secretary of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, GC Hosur, and requested him to ensure no administrative action was initiated against the students for the protest.
Hundreds of JNU students had swarmed the street on Monday, bringing several parts of the city to a halt. The students took out a protest march opposing the recent fee hike against which an agitation has been going on for over three weeks.
Some 30 police personnel and 15 students were injured in the scuffle during the eight-hour agitation. Police said that one FIR has been registered at South West Delhi’s Kishangarh police station, and another at South Delhi’s Lodhi Colony police station.
According to Atul Kumar Thakur, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), South District, a case under 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) of the IPC has been registered at the Lodhi Colony police station.
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JNU protesters booked for rioting; students demand no legal action
“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 to the FIR,” said the DCP.
Opposition members in Lok Sabha on Tuesday described as “suppression of voice” the alleged baton-charge by police on JNU students demanding total rollback of hostel fee hike.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Saugata Roy (TMC), TN Prathapan (Cong) and Danish Ali (BSP) accused the Government of using force to suppress the voice of students.
Meanwhile, the JNUSU, which has been leading the agitation against massive hostel fee hike for three weeks, said the strike would not be called off until their demands were met.
The students’ union alleged that the Registrar of the University refused to meet the members of the HRD Ministry-appointed panel for mediating between the agitating students and the administration and recommending ways to restore the normal functioning of the University.
“We have got to know that the registrar refused to meet the HRD Ministry-appointed panel to mediate between us and the University. See their high-handedness. When they can refuse to entertain Government representatives, how can they be expected to talk to us,” Ghosh said.
Earlier on Monday morning, demanding complete rollback of the proposed hostel fee hike, hundreds of students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) carrying placards and chanting slogans, marched towards Parliament on the first day of the Winter Session.
Section-144 was imposed outside the JNU campus ahead of the protest. Delhi Police personnel and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) stopped the students on the Baba Gangnath Marg, around 600 metres from the North gate of the University but the students jumped over the barricades.
Initially on Monday afternoon, the barricades outside JNU’s gates were removed and the students were allowed to march towards Parliament but were again stopped on road outside the Safdarjang Tomb near Jor Bagh. The students sat on the road which leads to long traffic snarls on Aurobindo Marg and it soon spread to other arterial roads as the cascading impact was felt till C-hexagon, the Indian Gate roundabout.
The police detained around 100 protestors, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, secretary Satish Chandra Yadav and former JNUSU president N Sai Balaji.
The marching students were finally prevented from moving further outside the Safdarjung Tomb, where, they alleged, the police baton-charged them, an allegation which was denied lock stock and barrel for the Delhi Police top brass. Earlier, an FIR was registered against unidentified persons on Saturday last, over an incident of “defacement” of the JNU’s administration block and the same is being investigated, said a police officer.