Students from Mumbai have been showing solidarity with students protesting at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). But one such event on Saturday took an ugly turn. Students' plan to gather at Dadar for a peaceful protest, reached Matunga police station, and students alleged that they were manhandled by cops.
Student members of different organisations such as All India Students' Association (AISA), Students Federation of India (SFI), Progressive Students Forum (PSF) among others were beginning to gather near Swaminarayan temple in Dadar for their protest in solidarity with students at HCU and JNU. Students allege that they were not allowed to begin their activity by police officials present at the spot and so their march led to Matunga police station.
Ranjini Basu from PSF, told mid-day, “This was complete violation of our democratic right to hold a peaceful protest. Hence, we went to Matunga Police station to register our protest against them for not letting us conduct our activity at Dadar. We were around 40 students. But, police were not allowing us to enter."
Adding to this, Abhilasha Shrivastava from AISA, said, "They said only few of us could enter with a letter. We agreed and all were just waiting in the premises, but police started shouting at us. And soon, the scene turned violent and police started pushing all students. Irrespective of girl or boy, everybody was manhandled by police. After that, a few male students were called inside police station while we were asked to wait outside. We thought it will be for some discussion but soon we get to know that our friends were being beaten up inside by police officials."
Speaking to mid-day, Ashok Dudhe, DCP Zone IV, claimed that it were the students who went out of their hands because of which they had to take action against them. "We had denied permission to the students to protest today outside Dadar Station considering it’s was Shiv Jayanti. However, looking at the police bandobast they all rushed into Matunga police station and started screaming slogans, showing placards and protesting against the police. Eventually, we had to take 16-17 people in custody to control the ruckus," said Dudhe. He confirmed that the action is still being taken against the students and no FIR was filed until now.
“They started gathering outside the station and even came to Matunga police station and started questioning as to why they were denied permission," added V M Kakade, senior police inspector of Matunga police station.
Police detained the 17 under various sections of CrPc for creating chaos in the police station.