UT cops turned goons on Tuesday afternoon when they thrashed Panjab University students mercilessly. While filling in for my colleague, I happened to be outside the vice-chancellor’s office, where the students were staging their protest against the varsity’s fee hike.
I was talking to some PU officials, while students were performing street plays as a part of their protest. Suddenly I saw a senior inspector approach the students and ask them to stop the protest. After some protests from the protestors, the officer hurled abuses at the students, who retaliated in kind.
What followed next was a brutal attack on the students. The officer began to assault them with his baton and his rifle butt and asked others accompanying him to join the act.
Shouts of” Koi media nahi hai, saalia nu maaro (No media is around, beat them up)”, followed by a spate of cuss words, were heard in the midst of the attack.
Suddenly, another vehicle came with police reinforcements, who also began to beat students, who were caught off guard, even as varsity authorities acted as spectators to the scene that unfurled before them. Students were dragged with their hair and put in vans, where they were beaten further.
As the scene got brutal, I tried to intervene, only to be told to “keep out of it” by the senior inspector. The police had clearly come with the intention to attack the students.
Further, the nine students who were detained at the police station were not given medical attention until 7pm in the evening. Even while the police claimed that the lathi charge was an act of self-defence, the question remains as to who they were protecting themselves from.
Meanwhile, the detainees have also been charged with sexually harassing and molesting female officers, besides being booked under various other sections.Who is to prove that the women officers in question were, in fact, beating up female protestors?