Scores of civil service aspirants, who had clashed with the police on Thursday night in north Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar, stepped up their protests on Friday morning as they attempted to march to Parliament.
The protesters were intercepted and detained by police contingents waiting at the Rajpath and Rafi Marg-Rail Bhavan intersection before being taken into preventive custody. As many as 300 were taken into custody, police said.
“Personnel from across the New Delhi district were pressed into service,” said SBS Tyagi, additional commissioner of police (New Delhi). “We had to maintain the sanctity of Parliament in addition to enforcing the law which makes the assembly of more than three persons illegal when Parliament is in session due to the imposition of section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC).”
Tyagi, who could be seen thrashing protesters himself, said the safety of Parliamentarians could not be left in a lurch and the police ‘had no alternative than taking concrete action’.
The police, he said, had to force the students in the bus and detain them for violating the prohibitory order. The students refused to move and lay down on the roads so personnel had to pick them up and push them inside buses.
An aspirant identified as one Neeraj tried to immolate himself in Mukherjee Nagar area but was saved by a police control room (PCR) van patrolling the area.
In New Delhi, the protesters were unrelenting and a ruckus was created and despite repeated requests by the police, protestors refused to disperse.
Protestors alleged they were beaten up and lathi-charged by the police. Pappu Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP, also alleged that girls were molested by the police.
“We have studied in Hindi medium schools and it is difficult to be on a par with English medium students. The translated version in Hindi is pathetic, making it difficult for us,” said an aspirant from Gorakhpur.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded a probe into the baton-charge by the police on students, including girl protesters. “A probe must immediately be ordered on the police brutality on students, including girls, on Thursday night in and around Mukherjee Nagar and on Friday near Rail Bhawan.
“Immediate action must be taken against the police officials clearly seen in the video footage and photographs, brutally beating up students. The government should probe why Metro stations are shut down whenever there is any protest in central Delhi. Who authorises the Metro shutdown?”the AAP said in a statement.