KARNATAKA

Students boycott classes, join rally against pub attack

Display of ‘studenthood’: Students protesting against the pub attack in the city on Wednesday.

Display of ‘studenthood’: Students protesting against the pub attack in the city on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: SUDIPTO MONDAL

Staff Correspondent

Protest was jointly organised by SFI and NSUI



Students of 13 colleges boycott classes

Home Minister’s resignation sought



MANGALORE: “I want to do what I want. I will do what I want. Nobody can stop me from doing that,” said Jean from St. Aloysius College here at a protest rally organised jointly by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) affiliated-Students Federation of India (SFI) and the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) on Wednesday, against the January 24 pub attack.

Several female students stepped forward to voice their dissent to vigilante attacks. “When our parents do not ask us about how we dress or where we go, who are these people?” said a student, Keerthi. Another student, Anabella said, “This protest is also against all those men who beat women daily.” Deepika said, “We are not in the dark ages. We women want equality. Nobody has the right to tell us what to do or stop us from protesting.”

A large number of students turned up for the rally despite alleged threats from Hindutva groups and the Bharatiya Janata Party affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishat.

Tension

Tension prevailed at the SDM Law College on M.G. Road after a group of ABVP activists tried to block the students of the college from joining the protest. Timely intervention of the college authorities prevented any further escalation of tension. The students of 13 city colleges boycotted classes. The district president of NSUI Tejaswi Raj said, “Anti-social elements affiliated to the Sangh Parivar and the ABVP have been trying to threaten and prevent us from protesting. We want to tell them that we are not afraid.” Lashing out at the ABVP for preventing students, he said that their recent threats indicated that they “tacitly support the attacks on helpless women”.

Stressing that the student community continued to be largely secular, he said, “Studenthood is our caste and religion.” He also said that though over 40 Sri Rama Sene activists were involved in the attacks, only 27 were arrested. “If the police do not take action, then we will have to do it on their behalf,” he warned.

Call for resignation

Addressing the gathering, district secretary of SFI Jeevan Raj said, “On behalf of the student community we demand the resignation of Home Minister V.S. Acharya. He must take moral responsibility for the attacks on students.”

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