Visually-challenged JNU student beaten by Delhi Police during march to Parliament over fee hike

  • A video of the Delhi Police beating up a visually-challenged Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student, who was a part of the protests against the fees hike, went viral

  • Shashi Bhushan Pandey, he said that the police beat him up and stomped on his chest and stomach even after he clarified that he was visually-challenged

  • The incident happened during the march undertaken by JNU students to the Parliament on Monday

A video of the Delhi Police beating up a visually-challenged Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student, who was a part of the protests against the fees hike and amended hostel manual, went viral.

In an account given by postgraduate history student Shashi Bhushan Pandey, he said that the police beat him up and stomped on his chest and stomach even after he clarified that he was visually-challenged. He further alleged that when he told one the cops that he was visually-challenged, he was asked “Andha hai to protest karne kyon aata hai (If you are blind, then why have you come for the protest)?”

The incident happened during the march undertaken by JNU students to the Parliament on Monday. While the police blocked the march’s route, protestors took an alternate route from Jor Bagh, where the lathi charge occurred. Pandey was a was part of a human chain when personnel of the Delhi Police took him aside and beat him up with lathis, following which he had to be taken to the AIIMS trauma centre.

Addressing a press conference in the university campus, Pandey said, "I removed my spectacles to show them that I can't see. Still they beat me up. A student who intervened was also beaten up. My friends told me street lights had been switched off and police were beating students. They made me stand on the side of a road, but policemen started nudging me with lathis from behind."

“Every university is standing with us in our fight against the bid to privatise education. The attempt is to remove JNU from all mainstream culture. The students do not crop from here (Delhi). They come from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and other areas. Do you want to say this place teaches one to become an anti-national?” he told News18.

Pandey said, “We protest and also attend our classes. We stick to our fight and slogan: 'Sabko shiksha de na sake jo, woh sarkar nikammi hai, jo sarkar nikammi hai, woh sarkar badalni hai' (the government that can’t give affordable education is useless, and useless governments must be changed).”

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Visually Challenged Students Forum demanded an apology from Delhi Police and said they will begin a protest against police atrocities from Wednesday.

Students have also alleged that physically challenged protesters were not spared and women were groped and manhandled. The police, however, have denied lathicharging, using tear gas or any form of violence against students. "When I was detained, my kurta was pulled and I was picked up by four male policemen. Women students were literally groped and manhandled," Ghosh said.

Women staff had been deployed in adequate numbers to deal with women protestors. Apart from 10 companies of the CAPFs, around 800 members of Delhi Police personnel were deployed to ensure law and order in the streets of the national capital. According to the police, around 30 police personnel and 15 students were injured.

The protests for a complete rollback of fee hike entered its fourth week as students called for a complete shutdown of academic activities in the college.

Jawaharlal Nehru Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh on Tuesday said that the union held a meeting with Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry joint secretary GC Hosur, requesting him to make sure no administrative action is taken against agitating students.

“Students have been getting notices through e-mail for these protests. But these protests are for a just cause and no student will pay even a single-rupee fine,” Ghosh told PTI.

The JNU on Tuesday approached the 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.

The petition said the police also violated the court order by refusing and failing to take action to maintain law and order in the university and removing the blockade around the administrative block.

On the same day, the Delhi Police registered two FIRs in connection with the students' protest.

During the Lok Sabha proceedings, the Congress' TN Prathapan and BSP's Danish Ali on Tuesday demanded a "high-level probe" into "police action" against protesting students of JNU. Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress raised the issue during the Zero Hour, and said the hike should be rolled back as poor students will find it difficult to pay the amount.

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Updated Date: Nov 20, 2019 09:49:58 IST