The police cracked the whip on college students, who attempted to celebrate bus day in the past two days and put motorists in the city to hardship.
On Monday, a group of students of Pachaiyappa’s College were thwarted by the police while on Tuesday, 12 students were arrested for a similar offense.
With the Madras High Court’s ban on bus day still in place, some city college students’ attempts at on-road celebration in the last few days were stalled by the heavy presence of the police.
On Tuesday afternoon, a group of students of the Pachaiyappa’s College on Poonamallee High Road intercepted an MTC bus (route number 15B) on Taylors Road, tied a banner and tried to take over the vehicle. Panicked members of the public alerted the police control room and a team from the Kilpauk police station rushed to the spot. While some of the students fled, 12 of the revellers were arrested and later released in the evening, the police said.
However, students of the college are agitated over them not being allowed to celebrate bus day while a rival college in Nandanam recently celebrated the day. “We don’t have a college fest or sports day. This is our only celebration towards the end of our final year in college. It is really harsh to ban it,” said a student of Pachaiyappa’s College.
Student Federation of India activist P. Ravi, who passed out last year from the college, said that, in the Taylors Road incident, police attacked innocent students. “Most of them who were assaulted by the police were not involved in the celebration. We have planned to protest against the actions of the police,” he said.
However, members of the public are not in support of bus day and say that the celebration is a nuisance. “When a bus day celebration comes near my shop, I hurriedly pull down the shutter. I have previous experience of students robbing items from the shop,” said Faizal who owns a petty shop on Sterling Road in Nungambakkam.
A bus commuter Sarala Kumari of Anna Nagar said it provided students with an opportunity to misbehave with women passengers.
City police teams are on alert to prevent celebrations by students on city roads. Large posses of policemen are posted outside some of the colleges and spots that are identified as areas were students could carry out the banned celebration.