The student protests against a steep fee hike took a very violent turn in the Panjab University on Tuesday with police using water cannons to disperse protesting crowd of students.
The incident turned violent as the students resorted to stone pelting which in return lead to lathi charge on them. Several officials were injured along with media persons and students. Chandigarh police slapped sedition charges on 66 students protesting on campus.
Political parties criticised the incident and police action on the students. It was the failure of local MP Kirron Kher and BJP leaders who have failed to get funds for the university that led to the agitation, said Chandigarh Congress Committee president Pardeep Chhabra while criticising the incident.
“BJP-led administration cane-charged photojournalists covering the agitation. The Congress condemns this action,” he added.
AAP threatened to hold protests if the decision of fee hike was not taken back. “The government is forcefully trying to silence the voice of students. The decision of the fee hike is unprecedented and contradicts the duty of government to provide education to the residents of the country. The government must immediately roll back the fee hike,” a party spokesperson quoted the AAP youth wing state president Harjot Singh Bains as saying.
Ashwani Kaul, the chief security officer said, “Police misinterpreted and slapped sedition charges on them. I have examined CCTV footage and video recordings of the protest and have clarified the situation to Chandigarh Police.”
However Eish Singhal, SSP, Chandigarh Police was quoted saying that the charge will be dismissed if no substantial evidence is found.