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Uproar in Parliament over JNU protest; police register 2 FIRs

Uproar in Parliament over JNU protest; police register 2 FIRs

New Delhi: The issue of police caning protesting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students was raised in both the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday wherein leaders of the Opposition condemned the "police excesses."

In the Lok Sabha, the issue of "police atrocities" on protesting students of JNU was first raised by Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy, who represents Dum Dum parliamentary constituency. While raising the issue in the Zero Hour, the TMC parliamentarian said: "The JNU is one of the best universities. Students belonging to weaker sections of society come here for their higher studies but the JNU authorities have increased their hostel fee from Rs 10 to Rs 300, which would 'restrict' poor students from getting a quality education."

Citing the education policy for higher education, Roy added: "As per the country's higher education policy, there is a provision of providing higher education at the government expenses to make brilliant poor students script new success stories."

Other members who raised the issue in the Lok Sabha include Congress' TN Prathapan and Kunwar Danish Ali of the BSP. Both the leaders accused the government of using force to suppress the voice of students.

Demanding a high-level probe, Prathpan said: "The students are protesting for their rights. The government is undemocratically suppressing their voice against fee hike. The government is ruining higher education institutions."

Kunwar Danish Ali also demanded a probe into the lathi-charge and sought an "apology" from the government. However, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla did not allow him to speak further as his Zero Hour notice was on another issue.

The proceedings of Rajya Sabha were disrupted as well with Opposition leaders slamming the Modi government and the varsity administration for "repressing" a democratic movement.

However, the ruling BJP leaders expressed scepticism with Union minister Giriraj Singh alleging that some people wanted to turn JNU into a Centre of "Urban Naxalism".

AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh slammed the police action alleging that it was for the first time that students of the university were "beaten mercilessly" for raising their genuine demands.

"It is the same Delhi Police that was complaining that their uniform was tainted after they were assaulted by lawyers. Does beating innocent students, including a visually challenged one, not taint their uniform," Singh said.

Rajya Sabha proceedings on Tuesday were adjourned till 2 pm after Opposition's uproar over alleged police action on protesting JNU students in the national Capital and detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said use of police force on the students was barbaric and unprecedented.

Delhi Police on Tuesday registered two FIRs against JNU students who clashed with the police during the protest march against the hostel fee hike on Monday. Both the FIRs have been registered in two different police stations and against unidentified individuals.

Besides JNU, the issue of air pollution also rocked the House with many MPs taking part in the discussion and blaming the government for their ineffective measures to put a check on factors causing air pollution. Highlighting the issue, TMC MP Kakoli Das Dastidar, who participated in the debate wearing a mask in the Lok Sabha, said: "The people of India deserve the right to breathe clean air. Why can't we have a 'Swachh Hawa Mission', just like the 'Swachh Bharat Mission'."

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