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Police lathicharge Delhi medicos

Thousands of students were protesting against the government's controversial reservation proposal.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 13:14 IST

Police lobbed tear gas shells and used water cannons to keep medical students, protesting the government's controversial reservation proposal on Friday, from moving towards Prime Minister's Office in South Block.

The agitating students pelted stones at the police as they were stopped from moving towards PMO from India Gate, leading to a scuffle between them and the police personnel.

Police then resorted to use of water cannon and tear gas to control the protestors who courted mass arrest and were subsequently taken away in police buses.

Over a 1000 students, who took out the march from Lady Hardinge College with the aim of going to PMO to lodge their protest against the proposed move to hike quota in institutions of higher education, had reached the India Gate Lawns via Connaught Place when they encountered several police barricades in the Central district.

Raising slogans such as "Arjun Singh Hai Hai", the students, who took out the rally under the aegis of 'Youth for Equality', said they wanted a statement from the Prime Minister on the issue.

The barricades did not allow them to stick to their original planned route.

The students had earlier announced that they would wait till the assembly election process was over for an assurance from the Government on the issue, failing which they would intensify their agitation.

"We had given the Government time till May 12, 24 hours more after the election process was over, to give us an assurance in the matter. Now, we have no option left but to go on an indefinite strike," said Amitasha, a student of Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC).

The students were already boycotting classes to protest the Government's proposal for introducing reservation for OBCs in elite institutions for higher education and in Central universities.

Students court arrest

The students courted arrest when stopped by the police and were taken to Parliament Street and Tughlaq Road police stations.

Before courting arrest, the students marched through the busy business district of Connaught Place, creating huge traffic snarls, catching the police unawares.

First Published: May 13, 2006 13:14 IST