Police lathi charge protesting university students in Rohtak

Agitation against indirect elections to students’ unions; 10 held in Kurukshetra

October 13, 2018 01:37 am | Updated 01:37 am IST - GURUGRAM

Policemen and students in front of the Maharshi Dayanand University campus in Rohtak on Friday.

Policemen and students in front of the Maharshi Dayanand University campus in Rohtak on Friday.

Several students protesting against indirect elections to students’ unions in Haryana’s colleges and universities sustained injuries after the police resorted to lathi charge to prevent them from disrupting the election process at Rohtak’s Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) campus on Friday.

The student leaders claimed that the police resorted to lathi charge against students holding a peaceful protest inside the university campus. The protest was held as part of a State-wide demonstration by Pratyaksh Chhatra Sangh Chunav Sangharsh Samiti, a conglomeration of ten students’ unions, against indirect elections.

Ten students were also arrested in Kurukshetra for allegedly blocking a State highway and locking the gate to Kurukshetra University, said the police.

Indian National Students’ Organisation State president Pradeep Deswal said that around 1,000 students, including women, were staging a peaceful protest inside the MDU campus at gate No.1 when the police tried to prevent them from holding the demonstration and resorted to unprovoked use of force.

“More than 50 students, including women, were injured. Some of them sustained head injuries and fractures,” claimed Mr. Deswal.

He demanded that the Haryana government conduct direct elections on the pattern of students’ union elections in Delhi University and Punjab University.

“The BJP government wants to install Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad members as student leaders in all colleges and universities of Haryana by conducting indirect elections. We will not allow this to happen. The protests were conducted across the State. Even the students not affiliated to any students’ unions demonstrated and locked the gates to their colleges. It was unprecedented,” said Mr. Deswal.

Mild use of force: police

Rohtak Superintendent of Police Jashandeep Singh Randhawa told The Hindu that the police resorted to “mild use of force” to disperse the protesting students after they did not allow other students to enter the university campus and tried to disrupt the filing of nominations for the students’ unions elections.

Haryana Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) president Naveen Jaihind, in a tweet, condemned the use of force against the students and said that they had the right to peaceful agitation in support of their demands. The police action has revived the memories of Hitler’s rule, said Mr. Jaihind.

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