Never Witnessed Such Police Brutality Against Students: JNUSU President

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Security personnel hold a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student during a protest against hostel fee hike, in New Delhi on Monday. — AFP

Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI – After a heavy police crackdown on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday when they were holding parliament march against the fee hike, they addressed a press conference at the campus on Tuesday briefing about the police crackdown and their demands.

Addressing the media-persons, JNUSU (JNU Student Union) President said that the way students were attacked by the police yesterday never happened in the recent past.

“The way students were lathicharged, it, perhaps, did not happen in the recent past. Students were mercilessly beaten up. Many female students went to the doctor for the treatment after the incident,” Aishe Gosh, JNUSU President.

Students have been protesting for over 3 weeks against the fees hike which, they say, will force many students to discontinue their education because 40 per cent students are from economically weaker sections.

Gosh said that the fees have been hiked without taking into account students’ union and teacher association which is illegal. They have been demanding to meet the vice-chancellor but the VC did not come to meet them.

She also said that the government presumes that they will bow down after the brutal lathicharge and crackdown but they will continue their protest and strike unless the new fee structure is rolled back.

In the police lathicharge, many students including one blindly challenged Sashi Bhushan were seriously injured. The police claimed that there are only 15 students who got injured.

According to students, women students have been dragged by the male police personnel and teachers were also kicked and abused.

JNUSU councilor Afreen Fatima, who is associated with Fraternity Movement, described to Caravan Daily as to how brutal behavior she has gone through.

“We came out of campus and reached the first barricade, the pull and push between students and police were started. I fell down on the barricade when the police personnel pulled me. She grabbed me by my hijab, then I chocked and my neck bruised by the Hijab. When she left me, I again fell on the barricade by my stomach side and three students fell on me. I moved from there towards footpath as I was feeling headache and vomiting,” she said.

She said that she was thrown by her limbs on the barricade by the police personnel when she fell on the barricade, the tip of some iron marked her back side. In that condition, she was detained and took to the Badarpur police station.

When she reached the police station, she was feeling serious headache and demanded some medicines from the police but they refused to help. She said many students were bleeding but the police did not pay attention to their plea for the medical treatment. She vomited two times there yet the police did not provide medical attention.

After that, she went to the hospital where she was administered two injections. And the doctor told her that if the headache continues, her head will be scanned to find out any major injuries inflicted in her head.

The brutal lathicharge on students drew condemnation from opposition parties.  AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh slammed the police action against students.

“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.

Communist Party of India chief D Raja and CPI(M) chief Sitaram Yechuri also denounced the lathicharge on students.

“This is Modi’s emergency. The number of police personnel present at the spot of the protest is higher than what we saw during an emergency,” Sitaram Yechury said during a press briefing. “This is not the right way to deal with democratic protests. The Modi government is trying to provoke the students.”

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