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PU student bodies demand rollback of fee hike, release of detainees

HT Correspondent  Chandigarh, March 20, 2014
First Published: 11:28 IST(20/3/2014) | Last Updated: 11:38 IST(20/3/2014)

A day after cops caned charged and arrested nine Panjab University students, student bodies protested against the police and the varsity administration on the campus on Wednesday.

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The protesters went around to various departments to urge students to join the protest, disrupting classes. They even broke the window panes at the law department when the authorities refused to allow them inside the building.

Pledging their support to the nine people apprehended after Tuesday’s incident, the students threatened to protest again if the administration refused to roll back the fee hike. The protesters also gathered outside vice- chancellor AK Grover’s office where they were joined by Aam Aadmi Party’s Lok Sabha poll candidate Gul Panag.

PANAG EXTENDS HER SUPPORT

The AAP candidate, , who spent an hour with the protestors, heard their account of Tuesday’s incident and spoke to them about varsity’s refusal to roll back the fee hike. Addressing the protesters, the AAP candidate extended her support to their demands for the fee hike to be withdrawn.

“Being an ex-student I agree the fee hike should be rolled back. Education is the right of every individual. I fully support you in all your demands. The protest is justified,” she said. Panag, however, did not appeal for votes.

The Students for Society (SFS) has been on a hunger strike since the past 24 days against the 20% hike in fees.

On Tuesday a verbal spat between students and the police turned ugly after the latter caned them. Nine students were detained and booked for rioting and molesting a female constable, among other charges.

PARENTS STAGE PROTEST ON CAMPUS

"Wednesday parents of those detained also staged a protest at the Students Centre on the campus. “Our children are innocent. The police assaulted them without any reason whatsoever. We demand all nine students be released and all charges against them be dropped,” said Tejinder Singh, a parent who was protesting.

Later the parents met the vicechancellor and urged him to help them in getting their children released. The court has set the hearing for the students’ bail applications on Thursday.

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