Even as the high-powered committee, which has been constituted by the government to resolve the issue of fee hike, had sought public suggestions, Student's Joint Forum staged a massive protest on the Himahcal Pradesh University campus on Friday, defying section 144.
Police arrested 69 students who were protesting outside the library, defying section 144 that had been imposed on the campus since September 18.
The students gathered outside the library and started shouting slogans against the HPU administration. Students who were protesting vehemently against the HPU were forcefully lifted by Shimla police, including 19 girls.
Shimla additional superintendent of police (ASP) Bhajan Dev Negi said the police arrested 69 students under section 341 for blocking the road, section 147,149 and 151 for wrongful assembly and section 188 for defying section 144 of the Indian Penal Code.
“69 students were arrested and later released on bail for defying the section 144,” he said.
Joint forum spokesperson Rakesh Kumar said, “We are not defying any orders, we are only demanding rollback of the decision,” he said, adding that the government as well as the HPU administration should take a quick decision in favour of the students.
The students also alleged that the HPU administration was also forcing students to attend classes and stay away from the movement.
“The administration is adamant on its anti-student decision and wants to crush the student movement. Whole campus has turned into a police cantonment,” he added.
As per the schedule of the forum, there would be a chakka jam outside the district headquarter on October 14 while a massive protest had been scheduled for October 17.
Kisan Sabha, ABVP condemn use of force
Kisan Sabha state president Kuldeep Singh Tanwar termed the police action as 'undemocratic'. In a press statement issued here on Friday, he said the government was favouring big houses to establish their business here while poor students protesting for their rights were being dealt with the force.
“The government should not crush the movement but find a solution,” he added.
Meanwhile, ABVP state secretary Ashish Sikta, in a press statement issued here condemned the use of force on students.
“Students have been protesting for their own right and not creating any type of law and order problem,” he said, adding that the administration wanted to crush the movement instead providing relief to students.