Student rage roars in Himachal, police misued to fail the protest again
SHIMLA- What happens when your own Government turns the whole state machinery to silence the protesting voices of restless people? What happens when the CM of the state use dictatorial practices against its own people, who dare to protest against him and his Govt.?
Today, we realized how the Govt. turns to cowardice and bullying tricks when the high rank chairs are shaken by the masses. Student community of Himachal Pradesh held a massive protest rally in front of HP Secretariat at Chota Shimla. After suffering police abuse and brutal lathicharge on 18 September, HPU students had made a call to every college and HPU students to take part in the rally, which was scheduled for today.
Today, there was no ABVP, no SFI, but only angry student mob, surrounded by HP Police. As a cowardice act, the police put barriers on various points all over Himachal in every district, stopped the buses carrying students from other districts like Harmirpur, Mandi, Kullu, and Una.
In Solan district, all students who were on their way to Shimla in a bus were reported to have been detained in order to prevent them from reaching Shimla. Police registered cases against all student under section 107. A huge number of students couldn’t reach Shimla. Please, listen what these students told us about their struggle to reach Shimla.
However, about 800-1000 students managed to reach the spot. The student leaders shared the stage irrespective to their differences and bitterness. The anger was busting in insulting, humiliating as well as challenging comments for the Govt. headed by Virbhadra Singh with which these leaders addressed the students. There was no diplomacy in their speeches. The message was put in very clear words. Govt. will have to take back the fee hikes and conduct the SCA elections at HPU in democratic way. Take a look at this video and hear what you must.
The public, the passerbys, onlookers including Secretariat employees couldn’t ignore the protesting voices. For most of these onlookers, it was a matter of student politics or Dharna. They were least concerned about the danger that haunts their fundamental rights and freedom. The public is still living in an illusion, which the Governments has created with the support of flattering media, and that there should be no politics or protest rallies at HPU campus or by the students anywhere.
These onlookers would only realize what the students are going through if their taxes are hiked by 1000-2000 % or their PF money, allowances etc. were deducted by the same percentage. It should have been, and it is, a matter of serious concern that Govt. is openly misusing the police to suppress the protest.
Each and every student is against the ridiculous fee hikes made by the Govt. and incompetent Vice Chancellor of HPU, ADN Bajpai. The university entered into financial crisis and HPU is trying to make up for that from student-pockets. The VC banned the SCA elections so that protests against his anti-student and dictatorial attitude could be silenced, then the HP Police beats students like animals, student leaders were arrested overnight, the girls sitting on chain hunger strike were arrested in the cover of darkness at midnight, hostels are closed, and 144 was imposed at HPU campus, which still continuous.
Near about seven battalion of HP Police are deployed at HPU campus only. Many of them are accommodated at HPU halls and rooms. Nowadays, the HPU appears to be training center of police.
Take a look at some of the hiked fees:
When researchers approached the VC with a plea to reduce the fees, his statement was, “Quite HPU if you can’t pay the fee.”
When the CM was approached and asked how the student would afford such high fees, then he replied, “Students have Rs. 15,000 mobiles and spent over Rs. 200 daily at Shimla Mall. They can pay the fees.”
Students in various colleges and in HPU protested peacefully, not once, but for months, they sat on chain hunger strikes for about 20 days before the last three girls were detained by the police.
To the disappointment of the HP Govt. and the VC, student did not step back after the brutal beating of police, but it just triggered bigger, aggressive protests. After today’s cowardice act of misusing police to stop students from entering Shimla to take part in the protest rally, the anger is fueled even more. It was a mistake, a big mistake. Now, the coming protests are going to be more aggressive.
The VC announced members of indirectly elected members, all of whom resigned within a couple of hours. Their resignation came as a tight slap as they mentioned in their resignation that no consent was taken from them before nominating them and that they support the student protest.
Take a look at the resignation letters of the meritorious students forcefully nominated for SCA:
Now, Virbhadra Singh’s statement on today’s protest said, “Some political leaders are provoking and misleading the student against his Govt.”
A big question, which each of us should be concerned about, is that how can the Govt. snatch our right to protest? Under what laws the student buses were stopped and students were told not to take part in the protest? We are already feeling sorry for those who still haven’t realized that these corrupt politicians aren’t trustworthy, that they can turn the state machinery against its people to save their chair, and that they would even crush you like a crawling insect if they could.
Here, the Govt. isn’t dealing with illiterate, ignorant crowd. Rather, it’s the educated youth of Himachal, which deny surrendering their freedom and rights to the suppression of the Govt.
In coming days, Himachal will see more protests. The students have already announced the schedule for the upcoming protest rallies. The only way to escape facing this revolting and rebellious student community is to listen to them and consider their unrest and grievance.
We would request the public to shed the fear of Govt. and it’s often used tool of suppression; the police. The police isn’t meant only to be a slave to the Govt. It’s meant to protect the rights of the citizens and ensure their safety. The Govt. isn’t meant to rule us, it’s just given the responsibility to manage the resources of the state and serve the public. The real ruler in a democracy is always the public, but here, we have witnessed ugliest level of politics by our own Govt. It’s time to wake up and remind the Govt. who is the real ruler.
Video and Inputs: Kritika Sehgal, HPU
Photo Credits: Madan/Tarun Sharma, HPU