FTII, JNU, HCU and now NIT: Here are the protests across universities that have shaken India - Firstpost
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FTII, JNU, HCU and now NIT: Here are the protests across universities that have shaken India


After the massive protests and uproar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi and the Hyderabad Central University (HCU), agitations have now erupted at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.

Unrest was witnessed again on Tuesday at the campus, the scene of last week's clash, with outstation students expressing a sense of insecurity and attempting to leave the campus, leading to a confrontation with police which resorted to lathicharge in which some were injured.

The CRPF has now been deployed at the NIT Srinagar campus and the HRD Ministry is sending a two-member team to the campus which has been gripped by tension following clashes among students over the Indian cricket team's loss against West Indies in the T20 World Cup last week.

On the other hand, TV reports say that fresh protests have erupted in HCU against vice-chancellor V Appa Rao.

Whether it is JNU, HCU, FTII or NIT, the fact is that the frequency of protests at universities across India have escalated to an alarming number.

Here is a look at some of the major agitations at universities which raise some very serious questions about the Indian education system:

FTII row

The FTII protests took place against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman. Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

The FTII protests took place against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman. Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

The protests at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) began after the appointment of BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the institute. Alleging saffronisation of the institute, a group of FTII students went on a strike for 139 days on 12 June, 2015.

The students had also protested against FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe, challenging his decision to go ahead with the assessment of the incomplete diploma film projects of the 2008 batch students. Police action had been taken against several students and some students had also been arrested.

Rohith Vemula's suicide/HCU row

Rohith Vemula suicide row also hit the Parliament, as Opposition parties lashed out at HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

Rohith Vemula suicide row also hit the Parliament, as Opposition parties lashed out at HRD Minister Smriti Irani. PTI

On 17 January this year, Rohith Vemula, a Dalit sholar at Hyderabad Central University, hanged himself from a ceiling fan in his friend's hostel room.

Vemula was among five students suspended by the institute following allegations of assault on a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Rohith Vemula's suicide led to a series of protests that shook the entire nation. The protesters alleged that the university's decision to bar the students accused of assaulting the ABVP leader from hostels was influenced by letters written by HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya, in which they had allegedly described the students as "anti-national" and "casteist".

The Modi government faced a lot of criticism as the row over the suicide caused uproar in the Parliament, with Opposition parties demanding the resignation of Irani and Dattatreya.

JNU row

The JNU row took place after protests erupted against a pro-Afzal Guru event on 9 February. AFP

The JNU row took place after protests erupted against a pro-Afzal Guru event on 9 February. AFP

Arguably the most intense protests at a university campus since 2014 took place at the Jawaharlal Nehru University after the ABVP members protested against an event held on 9 February against the hanging of 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Allegations of anti-national slogans being raised at the event led to the arrest of JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and some other students, including Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.

As the protests snowballed into a national issue, journalists and students were also assaulted at the Patiala House court premises, where lawyers thrashed Kanhaiya Kumar and journalists present at the spot.

With allegations against some TV news channels showing doctored videos of students raising anti-national slogans and incidents like BJP MLA OP sharma assaulting a CPI worker over the issue, the JNU row escalated into one of the biggest agitations the country has seen in a while.

Protests at Jadavpur University, West Bengal

The JNU row eventually reached the Jadavpur University, where students held a protest march. IBNLive

The JNU row eventually reached the Jadavpur University, where students held a protest march. IBNLive

The JNU row reached the Jadavpur University in Kolkata in February when students of the institution took out a torch rally against the crackdown on JNU students and raised slogans against the hanging of Afzal Guru.

BJP even filed a PIL in the Calcutta High Court demanding an NIA probe into the alleged anti-national slogans raised at the University, according to ANI.

Clashes at Fergusson college, Pune

An event called 'Truth of JNU' led to a clash between two student groups at the Fergusson College in Pune. IBNLive

An event called 'Truth of JNU' led to a clash between two student groups at the Fergusson College in Pune. IBNLive

In March, an ABVP-organised discussion on Fergusson campus called 'Truth of JNU' had led to a clash, involving two groups of students. College authorities had claimed that some anti-national slogans were shouted during the clash.

The clash led to stone-pelting and manhandling, forcing police to resort to lathicharge and register a criminal case.

Allahabad University row

Allahabad University Students' Union president Richa Singh alleged that she faced harassment by HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

Allahabad University Students' Union president Richa Singh alleged that she faced harassment by HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani again came under criticism when eight Opposition parties alleged that Irani had harassed and put pressure on Allahabad University Students' Union president Richa Singh.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session, JD(U) MP KC Tyagi had said, "first, we saw the sacrifice of Rohith, then the Kanhaiya episode and now Richa Singh episode is in the process."

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Apr 6, 2016 14:27 IST

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