The blatant attempts to crush the democratic voices of students and academia have been noted by numerous sections of the society and have caused a sense of alarm over the state of democracy, human rights, and dissent in India.
By Rakesh Raman
Amid rising tension between students and authorities of Panjab University Chandigarh over the exorbitant fee hike issue, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi intervened Friday in order to resolve the month-old conflict.
He met teachers as well as students of the university, although the Congress party did not offer any solution to address the students’ grievances.
Violent clashes had erupted between students and police last month when students were protesting against the abnormal increase in fee which went up by almost 1,000% for certain courses. Different student unions participated in the protest.
Police used force including baton charging and tear gas to control the students who were pelting stones on the police. More than a dozen policemen and some students got injured in the scuffle while over 50 students were taken into custody.
Plus, the police used the draconian sedition law against 66 students of the university to silence their protesting voices.
Last year, in a similar incident, the Narendra Modi government had used the police force to arrest a few students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) of Delhi under the sedition law while there was hardly any evidence against the students.
The JNU Students Union leaders asserted that the rampant arrests of students across the country and the slapping of various charges on student activists signal a situation of extreme alarm and a nervous attempt by the state to crush dissenting voices.
Rahul Gandhi today met Panjab Univ students who were brutally beaten by the Chandigarh police as they were protesting against the fee hike. pic.twitter.com/Zdo9nK6fE3
— INC India (@INCIndia) April 28, 2017
Clearly, the students say, these blatant attempts to crush the democratic voices of students and academia have been noted by numerous sections of the society and have caused a sense of alarm over the state of democracy, human rights, and dissent in the country.
Photo courtesy: Congress
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