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LG summons top Delhi Police officer; students stage protest against cop attack

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New Delhi :Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today summoned Delhi Police joint commissioner S K Gautam and sought a report over the police action against students during a protest outside RSS office in central Delhi’s Jhandewalan area yesterday that has sparked widespread outrage.

Sources said that Gautam, who is the joint commissioner of Delhi Police’s central range, briefed the Lt Governor over the issue at the latter’s office today. Jung is learnt to have sought a detailed report on the incident.

Gautam is heading the probe into the matter. The probe was initiated by Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi after due consultation with Special Commissioner (Law & Order) Deepak Mishra.

Delhi Police came under severe criticism after a video emerged in which its personnel were seen thrashing protesters and dragging activists by their hair outside the RSS office here during a demonstration against dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

The video of Saturday’s incident went viral on social media, triggering sharp reactions, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging the police force was being used as RSS and BJP’s “private army” under a political dispensation that is at “war” with students across the country. Agitated over the alleged assault on student protesters by police, students from various universities across Delhi today staged a protest outside police headquarters here blocking the traffic at ITO.

A video of police thrashing a group of students with sticks and fists and dragging women by their hair outside RSS headquarters here during a protest over Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide had triggered widespread outrage with Congress and AAP seeking action against the erring cops.

The students from Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) and Left-backed All India Students Association (AISA) staged a demonstration outside the police headquarters demanding action against the cops who allegedly assaulted the protesting students.

“Government is not listening to our demands, police is attacking us, where are the students supposed to go? Hang ourselves like Rohith did and succumb to their atrocities?,” said JNU Students Union Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora.

A KYS protester said, “The police commissioner needs to tell the country why cops behaved in this manner and on whose instructions they did so. They were so prompt in taking action against the students, why is the top cop not acting against his own policemen now?”

The protest by the students caused traffic jam at the ITO stretch as they did not allow the vehicles to move ahead.

The students alleged that they have been treated in similar manner by the police whenever they have tried to stage any demonstrations and raise their voice against any issue.

“Be it the ‘Occupy UGC movement’ or protests against sexual harassment by any professor, we always had to face similar crackdown from police. So many times we tried to go to the HRD Ministry but we were not even allowed to submit memorandums,” said Sunny Kumar, a protester.

The students from Jawaharlal Nehru University had decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike last week when they were detained from outside HRD Ministry for staging a protest there against the alleged delay in justice to Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar who was found hanging at Hyderabad Central University’s hostel on January 17.

The protesting students have been demanding the resignations of Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice-Chancellor of Hyderabad University over the issue.

PTI

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