Published: 20th November 2019
How Google Maps helped JNU's visually challenged students stop police from scuttling their protest
The JNU Visually Challenged Students’ Forum had called for a demonstration against the lathicharge of Delhi Police and demanded justice for persons with disabilities
A bus carrying visually-challenged students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to the Delhi Police headquarters for a demonstration condemning the police brutality on specially-abled students during Monday's protest, was led astray and redirected to the Vasant Kunj Police Station. But the bus was later let go and the students are on their way to the police headquarters.
"Some policemen boarded the bus and were trying to divert the route. The students realised that they were going the wrong way when their GPS told them that this was not the route to go to the headquarters," said an assistant professor closely monitoring and helping the students. There were, reportedly, no visually-abled person on the bus to help the students but they managed to stop the bus and after some "hue and cry" the police let them go on their scheduled route.
The JNU Visually Challenged Students’ Forum had called for a demonstration against the lathicharge of Delhi Police and demanded justice for persons with disabilities. "This is a clear cut violation of the United Nation’s Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 and Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2016 act. Therefore, the forum demands for talks with the Chief Commissioner of Delhi Police and demands for the full protection of Persons with Disabilities anywhere in the national capital of Delhi with an immediate effect," said members of the forum.
At a press conference, the JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh accused the Delhi Police of manhandling and molesting female students including her. "There were no female police personnel. The male police force dragged us to the bus. They almost disrobed me in the process. Some of the journalists have witnessed this," she said. Aishe also accused the police of paying no attention to the students' medical emergencies, "I was detained at Delhi Cantonment. There was a girl in my bus who was severely injured but the policemen refused to stop and get her any help. After the students were released, we were all separated so we could not join and continue the protest." She also said that the police officers had misled the union members and separated them from the students saying that they are being taken to meet a delegation from the MHRD. The lathicharge followed after the separation, she added.
Shashi Bhushan Pandey, the visually-impaired student who was allegedly beaten brutally by the police said that the media needs to understand how important its role is and stop selling themselves out. "They need to apologise for what the government and the police have done. PM Modi might even lose power because of actions like these. Because they do not deserve to govern this country. It is not just JNU where students are protesting. Students across the country are plagued with fee hikes and non-existent or anti-education administration," added Shashi, a member of the JNUSU.