Published: 25th February 2020
Pondicherry University students dragged into police vans, detained as protests continue
Students were seen protesting in front of the police vans we well refusing to let the vans move out of campus
For the 20th day in a row, students held their fort and sat on the steps of the administrative building in protest against the fee hike imposed on them. Even as the police jeeps and vans slowly drive into the entrance of the building, the students' slogans got louder and as they got dragged into those very vans, they kept yelling out their slogans.
This morning the Pondicherry police forcefully detained the students and have been doing so the entire day. The students had held fort of the admin block over the last 20 days, waiting for the administration to revoke the fee hike. The administration is gearing up for their convocation on February 26 with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu as the chief guest and thus, the cops had taken over campus on Monday.
On Tuesday, the students continued into their 20th day of protest against the fee hike. The administration had issued a circular to the students and the Students' Council members asking them to refrain from 'assembling unnecessarily' anywhere on campus since the police had taken over the campus since the VP would be visiting the campus. The students had decided to continue their peaceful protest during the Naidu's visit as well, to pressurise the administration to revoke the hike.
Student Council President, Parichay Yadav was one of the first to be dragged into the van, the detained students were taken out of the campus, "We were dropped off near the Silver Jubilee building and are being held in a hall here. So we are carrying on with our protests here. When they release us, we will take out a march to the administration building," he said.
SFI, Pondicherry University called the campus a jail, "Is Pondicherry University a Central Jail? House arrest like situation in Pondicherry University, students detained from admin and house arrest in UMISARC," they wrote on social media.
The protests have been growing through the day, as more and more students get detained by the police. Students were seen protesting in front of the police vans we well refusing to let the vans move out of campus. Several other colleges affiliated with the Pondicherry University are also on strike including Bharathidasan College is also on strike.
In a statement, the administration said that they had held four rounds of meetings with the students to resolve the issue but claimed that students were not willing to listen and consider their suggestions, "The matter pertaining to reduction of fees has being looked into by the University authorities to the possible extent. The University came forward with a 20% reduction in the fees for students from marginalized and weaker sections, who actually deserve," the administration said.
The administration also claimed that the students had raised other issues at the last minute as well besides the revocation of the fee hike, "The students have suddenly added another issue which was settled during the earlier council other two demands of withdrawal of transportation fee and implementation of 25% Reservation for the students of Union Territory of Puducherry in all courses," they said in a statement.
They also said that the students were being detained because the administration had no other choice, "As a preventive measure, the Security Personnel have taken the agitating students, who were indulging in protest and occupying the corridors of the Administrative Block and kept them within the University Campus, as a safety measure to maintain Law & Order," They also said that they had "tried their best to resolve the issue" and that they had not forseen these incidents,"University authorities tried their level best to avoid these unforeseen developments by engaging four rounds of talks with students which did not succeed because of the adamant attitude of the agitating students."