JNU Moves HC Against Students, Police for Violating 2017 HC Order
Delhi Police has registered two FIRs against in connection with the students’ protest.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday, 19 November, approached Delhi High Court seeking contempt action against its students and the Delhi Police for allegedly violating a court order against holding a protest within 100 metres of the varsity's administrative block.
JNU claimed that the students had grossly violated the 9 August 2017 order of the high court by holding a protest within 100 metres of the administrative block and affecting its day-to-day working, which has been disrupted since 28 October.
The petition, filed through the Central government’s standing counsel Monika Arora, sought direction to issue contempt notice against the students and police and punish them in accordance with the Contempt of Courts Act for alleged willful disobedience of the court order.
Delhi Police Files Two FIRs
The Delhi Police, during the day, registered two FIRs in connection with the students' protest demanding a total rollback of hostel fee hike.
Students, carrying placards and chanting slogans, were baton-charged near Safdarjung Tomb after their march towards Parliament on the first day of the Winter Session on Monday, 18 November, was stopped by police near the Jor Bagh Metro Station.
While the students alleged that they were baton-charged by police, top police officials denied having used any force.
According to the police, around 30 police personnel and 15 students were injured during the protest in which thousands of students participated from different universities across the national capital.
Students Released; Police Urge Them Not to Take Law in Their Hands
Speaking to The Quint, Apeksha Priyadarshini, a JNU student who was part of the march, said, “I was detained at Delhi Cantonment. I was brutally manhandled and the police even threw me on the barricades. Police at Badarpur and Kalkaji stations were not letting the students go.”
Former JNUSU President, Sai Balaji, told The Quint that he was detained at Badarpur police station.
“The police punched me, and said that this is what you deserve. There were 50 students detained along with me. Our teachers brought first-aid boxes for us, the police didn’t even provide us (with them),” added Balaji.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police urged the protesting JNU students not to take law in their hands and to maintain peace as thousands of agitators continued with their march to Parliament.
“We are trying to mediate talks with the JNU students. Sufficient forces have been deployed. We told them not to take law in their hands, block roads and cause inconvenience to the public. We are trying to convince them and hopefully, we will be able to solve the matter soon,” Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Deputy Police Commissioner (Central) – who is also Delhi Police PRO – said.
In their official statement, Delhi Police stated, “The staff denied acting with restraint all along and, despite continued defiance by some groups of students, methods of persuasion were resorted to, and there was no use of water cannons, tear gas shells or lathicharge at any stage of the protest. Women staff had been deployed in adequate numbers to deal with female protesters.”
Call for a ‘Complete Rollback of Fee Hike’
The students, who were holding a protest on the university's premises for the last three weeks, hit the streets seeking to get the attention of Parliament about their demands, asserting they will not relent until the government withdraws the hike.
Hundreds of police personnel stopped the students on Baba Ganganath Marg, around 600 metres from the main gate of the university and some of them were forcefully blocked from moving ahead.
Initially, the barricades outside JNU's gates were removed and the students were allowed to march.
‘This Is Modi's Emergency’: Sitaram Yechury
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury condemned the police action on protesting JNU students, saying it was not the right way to deal with democratic protests.
“This is Modi’s emergency. The number of police personnel present at the spot of the protest is higher than what we saw during emergency,” Yechury said during a press briefing in the national capital.
Centre Announces Three-Member Committee to Restore ‘Normal Functioning’
Earlier on 17 November, Ministry of Human Resource Development has appointed a three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normal functioning of JNU.
Former UGC Chairman VS Chauhan, AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe and UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain will be a part of the three member committee, which will initiate dialogues with students and administration, and submit recommendations on resolution of all issues.
(With inputs from PTI)
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