The Chhatra Marg stretch outside the Faculty of Arts complex in Delhi University’s North Campus turned into a riot zone in the early hours of Thursday, just a day before the university’s students’ union is scheduled to hold polls.
Students on hunger strike to demand hostel accommodation for outstation students allegedly burnt a police van when cops tried to forcibly hospitalise a 22-year-old whose fast had entered its 11th day. They also allegedly attacked police personnel overseeing the peaceful protest.
The police arrested four students — only one, Suraj, identified so far — while more arrests are likely on Friday, a senior officer said. Around seven students were present at the time of the incident.
As per sources, trouble started around 12.30am after the police forcibly put Praveen Kumar Singh, 22, into an ambulance, acting on a recommendation of the varsity’s health centre.
“Kamlesh Misra, a friend of Singh’s, tried to stop the police, slipped and hurt himself. In the meantime, another boy — Suraj — attacked police constables and set a van on fire,” said the officer.
Misra, however, said: “I fell on losing my balance while trying to open the ambulance door. The police mercilessly drove over me and I have sustained injuries.” The police rubbished his claims.
The students involved do not have any proclaimed political affiliations. But Arun Hooda, the present DUSU president, joined the continuing strike on
Thursday to express solidarity.
In a written statement, the DU administration blamed “a minuscule segment of the teaching community” for “misguiding” the students.