Opp seeks probe into lathi-charge on students

| | New Delhi
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Opp seeks probe into lathi-charge on students

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 | PNS | New Delhi

Opposition parties disrupted proceedings in both Houses of Parliament, alleging police excesses against JNU students. Opposition members in Lok Sabha 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 in the Lok Sabha, Saugata Roy (TMC), TN Prathapan (Cong) and Danish Ali (BSP) accused the Government of using force to suppress the voice of students.

Roy dubbed as "unfortunate" the use of force on students, saying the hike should be rolled back as poor students will find it difficult to pay the amount. Prathpan said the students are protesting for their rights. "The government is undemocratically suppressing their voice against fee hike. The Government is ruining higher education institutions," he said. He also demanded a high-level probe into the "atrocities" committed against students of the university. Danish Ali too demanded a probe into the lathi-charge and sought an "apology" from the Government.

But Speaker Om Birla did not allow him to speak further as his Zero Hour notice was on another issue. Voicing similar concerns in the Rajya Sabha,  Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said that 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," he said.  Raja alleged that the JNU administration was trying to "repress" the democratic voice of dissent by the students with use of police force to impose its "agenda" which was against the fundamental values of the varsity.

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh slammed the police alleging that it was for the first time that students of the university were "beaten mercilessly" for raising demands. "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 said.

Rajya Sabha proceedings on Tuesday were adjourned after opposition uproar over alleged police action on protesting JNU students in the national capital and detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. In an attempt to douse the uproar in the Upper House, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the adjournment notices received from members do not warrant setting aside the listed business of the day. He further warned the members that he would be forced to adjourn the proceedings if they continued to protest in the House. "You will be disturbing the entire House. That is not a matter to adjourn business," Naidu said. As the uproar refused to die down, Naidu adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.

Reacting on the JNU, Union Minister Giriraj Singh alleged that some people want to turn JNU into a centre of Urban Naxalism. "Its the same JNU where 'Bharat Tere Tukde Honge' slogans were raised  and where death anniversary of Afzal Guru was observed," the minister said. 

On Monday, thousands of students along with faculty members were stopped mid-way when they were marching towards Parliament.  Around 100 students were detained and some were injured when police allegedly baton-charged protesters as they marched towards Parliament on Monday, demanding a total rollback of the hostel fee hike.

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