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Black day for HPU: Police brutally beats, humiliates students, over 300 arrested

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hpu girl students assault

HPU-Police-assault

SHIMLA- Last night and following day, today was testing time for many HPU students. First the girls, who were sitting on chain hunger strike, were arrested at midnight along with other girls who were present with them. There was a lathicharge for which the only witnesses are the victims. Student leaders protested all day long, but they were arrested in the darkness of night only. Next morning, today, when the students came out on streets for mass arrest, they were not lathicharged, but trashed with such a brutality that witnesses shivered while they talked to us. Again, in afternoon, many students including research scholars were trashed by police. Near about 8-10 students sustained injuries including head injuries.

hpu girl students assault

A witness recited the horrible site of watching 10-15 policemen trashing arrested students inside the buses. Some of the readers even messaged us what they witnessed. Here is a message which we received from an eyewitness:

An eyewitness account of what happened today in HPU campus (cane charge on research scholars). More than 500 students from university library started their peaceful march towards Summerhill Chowk when they were stopped near Chemistry Department by police officials. We were told the police that we ready to be arrested (mass arrest). Several students sat on the road to contribute towards mass arrest. What happened after this would shatter you and eliminate any respect from your heart for HP Police and administration, if you have any. While students were sitting on the road, the police and QRT lathicharged them. None of the students counteracted (mark my words). Why they were lathicharged when they were sitting quietly? No one except DSP and SP knows about it. Then their attention turned towards a large group of around 350 students who were standing on the side. The police personals literally slapped the boys, cane charged the girls and spoke foul language against them. I saw some police personals giving ‘Gaalis’ to the girls. Even DSP was seen speaking foul words. Many girls were weeping but police kept on beating them. Girls were running for help, police chased them and beat them up. The drama went on for another 5 minutes where glasses of library were also broken and some of the students got injured in the process.

I would like to ask the police personals: “Kya apni maa behen ko bhi aisi galiyan niklate ho tum? Apni maa behen ko b aise dando se marte ho tum? Sharam aani chahiye aisi ghatiya harkat karte hue; beating up innocent students as if they are terrorists. And the so called VC (I am not using the word honorable), don’t you have guts to face the students of your university? 700% fee hike? Hamare maa baap roz mehnat majdoori isliye nahi krte k tumhare lalchi pet ko bhar sakein. Aur Mr CM, elections k time to bahut bade bade vaade kiye the aapne. Inhi students ne vote kiya tha aapko. Bhulna mat election har 5 saal baad aate hain! It’s not a matter of a particular student organization now. Don’t let this movement die. Stand for yourself. Stand for your rights. You cannot let these corrupt people enjoy on your hard earned money. Standdd! It’s now or never!

hpu-mass-arrest

HW also talked to ABVP members. The horror of police brutality reflected on their face while they talked about the gruesome site of brutal ‘lathicharge’ by police.

ABVP Protest in Front of DC Office, Shimla

The intensity was so high that ABVP decided to join SFI and fight shoulder to shoulder against massive fee hikes and Govt. repressive actions. ABVP also staged a protest in front of DC Office, Shimla today afternoon.

hpu lathicharge

HW tried to contact many students leaders, but their phones were switched off because police snatched them to devoid them of making any communication.

HPU-Police-assault-on-students
All of this happened after the VC cried of being assaulted by students, which is a completely false statement. HW had posted a video clip in the previous article. According to the statement of VC, he was assaulted as soon as he got out of his car. Please, take a look at the video, which shows that VC himself came out of the car and walked back under the cover of police security. Students had just blocked the road so that they could make him face their questions, which the VC wasn’t attending otherwise.

No one touched the VC. There was a thick barricade of police which separated the VC from students who were trying to chase him before he fled from the campus. For last 20 days, the students were on chain hunger strike. Not only SFI, but ABVP members were also sitting on chain hunger strike. No one attended them, not even the Govt. The students had to block the road.

Click here to Read Previous Article of HW (The day the VC alleged he was assault)

The Vice Chancellor’s statement says that he was pulled by hand and punched in the back. HW was there at the spot and saw all the action. It’s a characterless and cowardice act to use such a huge lie as an excuse to impose 144 in the campus and compel police to resort to gruesome lathicharge.

Deputy Mayor of Shimla, Tikender Panwar, on brutal lathicharge on students and fee hike at HPU

It’s a very sad day for a nation which acquired its freedom after many revolutionary lives were sacrificed. The Govt. machinery is used against those whom it should have protected. Take a look at the percentage of fee hikes at HPU and decide for yourself whether it’s anywhere near a justifiable decision?

hpu fee

Click on the Image to Enlarge

The best thing about HPU, for which it received appreciation from many other states was its low fees, so students were able to get equal opportunity to access Govt. educational institutes.

What kind of ridiculous proposal is it? The fees are hiked by 1500% and even 2000% in some cases. What’s wrong with protesting against a decision which will cast a very negative impact on major portion of public? The parent pay the fees and HPU authorities have imposed a huge burden on them in just one go.

Another reader sent us the following message:

Dear Admin
No TV channel highlighted this matter (HPU Campus). I don’t know the reasons behind this. As I belong to a low middle class family of HP, I know the value of money in Pahadi family. With low sources of income it’s really tough for parents to provide higher education, but still our parents move against all odds.

As we all know youth is the power of any nation, and it’s also my hearty desire to see strong, united youth of Himachal. I support the HPU students protest but to make this protest successful. Please stick with Kangra Mandi, Hamirpur constituencies also. Please try to highlight these news also.

We wonder why our Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, is silent on merciless repression of peaceful student protests? Why he isn’t bothered about the future of youth in the state? Why he isn’t moved by unrest among the students and their parents? How come he supported the proposal to hike fees by such high percentages?

HW is stunned by what it witnessed at HPU campus in last couple of days. We don’t claim ourselves journalists, but we do claim to have witnessed the real face of our own Govt. and our own police. We witnessed a conspiracy like we had seen in movies. The VC told a big lie, the newspapers and media published this lie and students were crushed for that. Some HPU officials filed their resignation by saying that they are not feeling safe and that they criticize the assault on the VC, which actually did not happened. It was made a legal point and good excuse to brutally trash and detain the students.

tiki
However, it was a big mistake on the part of the VC, the Govt. and HP Police, especially Shimla SP and DSPs. Now, all student organizations have joined hands, people like the deputy mayor of Shimla, Tikender Panwar has come out against the Govt. and their hideous act of thrashing and arresting students at night, abusing, humiliating research scholars. All these student wanted was a relief from ridiculously hiked fees.

HW appeal to people to react and support thousands of students and their burdened parents in their fight against highly corrupt system. Let’s not tolerate, hence, encourage bullying attitude of our own Govt.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

Campus Watch

Govt Prepares Alternative Academic Calendar to Compensate Loss in Education Sector, No Decision on Opening Schools Till May 3

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HP Govt Decision on Opening schools after may 3

Shimla-Education of students, especially in schools, is also hit by COVID-19 pandemic. Like several other sectors, the education sector is faced with a problem it never before came face to face.

In this regard, Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank presided over a video conference meeting with Education Ministers and Secretaries of School Education Department of all states and Union Territories to discuss various issues pertaining to the education sector in the country in the wake of coronavirus.

Education Ministers of 22 States and secretaries from 14 States and Union Territories attended the conference. Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy Smt Anita Karwal and senior officials of the Ministry participated in the meeting.

Pokhriyal said that whole efforts should be that our 33 crore students do not face any difficulty and can continue their education. For this, various efforts are being made to strengthen the online education platforms like DIKSHA, Swayam, SwayamPrabha, Vidyadaan 2.0, E-Pathshala, Educational TV Channel of Doordarshan, DishTV, Tata Sky, Jio, Airtel DTH etc. The Minister also said that apart from this, an alternative academic calendar has also been released by NCERT which states can adopt according to their local situation. Also, we have to prepare safety guidelines in case of opening of schools.

Mid-day meal scheme has also been continued during the summer vacation for students. Doordarshan is providing education curriculum content through various programmes with DTH services on 33 channels.

The Minister appealed to all the States to start the process of evaluation of answer sheets of Board exams and facilitate CBSE to evaluate answer sheets of the students in their respective States.       

Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj while interacting with Union Minister apprised that distance learning initiatives are being taken up by the department through the Internet and Doordarshan Himachal. Now, DD Himachal is also available on Airtel DTH at channel number 406. He said 66 percent students from elementary classes and 72 percent students from higher classes are on board in distance learning initiatives.

The Minister said that efforts are being made for reaching out to students through All India Radio. 

The HP Board of school examination has conducted exams for all papers of class 10th. A plan is being prepared for a few papers left of plus two standards.  The textbooks have been distributed to all and mid-day meal is also being distributed. The State government is also preparing post-lockdown strategies for the education sector.

He urged the Union Minister to approve four Kendriya Vidyalayas in the state. He also demanded the mid-day meal facility for pre-primary classes.

Rest, the decision over the opening of schools and other educational institute is likely to be taken during the next Cabinet meeting scheduled for May 2. Also, the Prime Minister would take decision on the lockdown and state government would wait for his address on May 3 before taking any big steps.

The lockdown is likely to continue with relaxations and implementation of exist-plans in the green zones.

Moreover, the opening of schools would require facilitating public transport. Therefore, the Transport Department would also have a say in this matter.

Secretary Akshay Sood, Director, Elementary Education Rohit Jamwal,  Director, Higher Education Dr. Amarjeet Sharma and other senior officers of the Education Department were also present in the meeting.

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HP Govt to Teach School Students via Doordarshan, Whatsapp, Website, Radio 

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HP Govt school to teach online and via doordarshan

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government today announced to launch the e-learning and teaching for 10th and 12th standard students of the state through Doordarshan. The online learning facility from home will be provided to students under Himachal Doordarshan Gyanshala programme from 17 April, 2020 onwards, it was informed.

 The education department has prepared programme according to the syllabus of HP School Education Board for 10th and 12th classes. The programme would be telecast from 17 April for three hours from 10 AM to 1 PM for different subjects as per the time table.

 The Government further informed that the ‘Learning from Home- Har Ghar Pathshala’, a home based teaching programme for the students from grades 9 to 12 is functional during the lockdown period of COVID-19.

 This programme would help the students to get access to online videos and worksheets from their homes on the Govt Website and Har Ghar Pathshala Website. This programme would start from 16 April, 2020 between 10 am to 1 pm daily till the regular opening of schools, informed the Government.

 Under this programme, the Government claimed, all the students would regularly receive daily videos and home work through WhatsApp groups with teachers on important topics.  Their homework would be regularly checked by the teachers and also provide feedback.

 Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the education department is also planning to broadcast the study material on TV/Radio/FM to cater every student of the State.

 Secretary Information and Public Relations Rajneesh, Secretary Finance Akshay Sood, Special Secretary Education Hemraj Bairwa, Director Higher Education Dr Amarjeet Sharma, Director Information and Public Relations Harbans Singh Brascon and representatives of Doordarshan Shimla were present of the occasion.

 

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Campus Watch

Shimla’s Private Schools Forcing Parents to Pay Fees Amid Lockdown Despite Govt Directions to Extend Dates

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Private school fees in Shimla

Shimla-Already infamous for charging hefty fees of various sorts throughout the session, private schools in Shimla are still most concerned about their fees. The spread of COVID-19 and nationwide lockdown were not good enough reasons to refrain from compelling parents to submit fees from the beginning of the lockdown. Earlier, they were forcing parents to submit their fees by March 31st.  At that time, the government was still mulling over the period of relaxation in curfew and its frequency. On top of that, schools did not offer online service for depositing fees online, which implied that parents had to walk to the bank associated with the school.

Taking note of it, on March 27th, the Department of Higher Education directed the schools to stop forcing parents and extend the last date of depositing fees to April 30. The Education Minister also told the schools to facilitate parents during the lockdown and extend the last dates. But the administration has never been a deterrent for these schools. The schools continued to persuade parents to deposit fees despite the directions. Some parents accepted even violating lockdown to deposit fees.  

These schools claim they are taking online classes which included giving home-work and assignment through Whatsapp or some other apps. Now, some schools are experimenting with some applications that allow conducting online classes for a few hours.   

Now that the extension of the lockdown is almost inevitable, these schools again started to agitate parents for fees. They have been only asked to extend the date, not to exempt payment of fees. 

“Despite repeated reminders, some of the private school managements are forcing the parents of the students to deposit the school fees during countrywide lockdown/curfew in the state,”

the said a notification issued by the Directorate of Higher Education again on April 9.

“In view of the lockdown/curfew and the pandemic situation in the State the date of deposit of school fees of privately managed schools is hereby deferred till further orders and it is further directed not to force the parents of the ward to deposit the school fees during this period,”

the schools were further directed in the same notification.

The Department said it would take strict action against offenders. However, these schools are least worried about such directions because the students of government officials also study in these schools. On the other hand, the parents can’t come out to openly criticize the functioning of the school where their children are enrolled. Rest, the managements of private schools are well aware that the standard of education offered at the government schools leaves parents with no choice but to kneel in front of them. 

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