Demanding the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) to rollback its decision of hike in fee, the students' organisations on Friday, setting aside their political differences, have come up together and announced to intensify their stir against the state government.
Activists of the Left-backed Student Federation of India (SFI) and Right-oriented Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) gathered outside the state secretariat decrying the government for its “repression” on the students.
The students have been protesting under the banner of 'Chhatra Ekta Manch'-a joint forum of the SFI and ABVP. The joint forum, for the first time during these protests, had given a state call, but the state police managed to keep away the students from several districts from attending the rally by stopping their busses at several points.
In the capital town, the police forces had been deployed at several points since early Friday morning, in order to keep a check on the situation.
ABVP state organisational secretary Naveen Sharma, while addressing the gathering outside secretariat, said the forum had decided to hold a massive rally and a “chakka jam” on October 14 and stage a protest at the district headquarters on October 10. “On September 29, the joint forum will protest and burn an effigy of vice-chancellor ADN Bajpai, while on September 30 we have plans of burning effigy of chief minister Virbhadra Singh,” he added.
Sharma accused the government of crushing the students' voice by stopping them from participating in the rally. “We are not criminals, then why our grievances are not being redressed by the government and the HPU?” he said, adding that whenever the students raised their demands, the administration tried to scuttle them.
Meanwhile, SFI state secretary Munish Sharma said the police stopped about 3,000 students from different district, citing orders from higher government officials as the reason. He said the government was never ready to solve their issues.