College students stage protests to condemn ‘police brutality’

Agitators express solidarity with students protesting against new citizenship law

Published - December 17, 2019 01:13 am IST - CHENNAI

Up in arms:  Students raising slogans on the IIT-Madras campus on Monday.

Up in arms: Students raising slogans on the IIT-Madras campus on Monday.

College students from across the State participated in protests and organised rallies on their campuses to express solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, who were attacked by the police while protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Authorities of the Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), Tiruvarur, declared a holiday till mid-January, even as a section of students launched a stir against the attack on student protesters. A section of CUTN students staged a demonstration on the campus. They took out a procession with effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, which were set afire.

The registrar, meanwhile, posted a circular on the university’s website, stating that the “university was closed from today (December 16) for winter holidays”. All hostellers were asked to vacate the hostel within 24 hours.

At the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, over 100 students gathered at the Gajendra Circle around noon and shouted slogans condemning “police brutality”. Later, they took out a rally on the campus. Research scholars and undergraduate students participated in the rally. They said their protest against the government did not mean they were anti-national. A similar protest was held at Mohammed Sathak College in Sholinganallur.

At Loyola College, over 50 students skipped classes and squatted near the main gate, demanding justice for those who were attacked. Students belonging to the Periyar Ambedkar Study Circle demonstrated at the University of Madras’ Chepauk campus. In Puducherry, members of the Students’ Council of Pondicherry University gathered in front of Gate II of the campus, demanding the immediate release of the detained students. They raised slogans against the police action and said State-sponsored violence had been unleashed against the students for raising their voice against the CAA.

Attempted rail-roko

Commotion prevailed at the Coimbatore Railway Junction when two groups, one belonging to the Students’ Federation of India and the other under the banner of the Popular Front of India, tried to storm the railway station for a rail-roko.

Members of SFI attempted a rail-roko at the Madurai railway station and courted arrest. “The attack against students was brutal. Even the students in the library were attacked. From this, it is evident that the Bharatiya Janata Party government is a fascist government,” said A.D. Kannan, district president, SFI.

“By passing such regressive laws, the government is promoting communal hatred among the people,” he alleged. Students from Madurai, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts took part in the protest. As the protesters tried to enter the railway station, the police arrested them.

Students of Government Law College in Vellore staged a demonstration in front of the institution and shouted slogans.

The Confederation of Tamil Nadu Students’ Organisation called for the formation of an inquiry committee, comprising student representatives.

“It is a democratic protest and the police has prevented dissenting voices. The protest in the State is to express solidarity with the students in the north,” said Mustafa, who is part of the organisation Campus Friends of India.

The All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations, in a press release, condemned the Act, saying it violated Article 14 of the Constitution.

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