Yechury, who was the JNU students' union president during Emergency, said peaceful demonstration was a democratic right. (Photo Credit: Twitter/ANI)
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday slammed the Narendra Modi government over police action on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, who were protesting against the massive fee hike. "This is Modi’s emergency. The number of police personnel present at the spot of the protest is higher than what we saw during emergency," Yechury said during a press briefing in New Delhi.
Yechury, who was the JNU students' union president during Emergency, said that peaceful demonstration was a democratic right in a democratic society and beating up students showed the "use of extreme authoritarianism on the part of the government".
"This is not the right way to deal with democratic protests. The Modi government is trying to provoke the students," he said adding that marches were taken till the Parliament without any violence during his student days.
Thousands of JNU students, carrying placards and chanting slogans, marched towards Parliament on the first day of the winter session on Monday, demanding a total rollback of the hostel fee hike, but were stopped by the police around half a kilometre from the institute’s campus in south Delhi.
Hundreds of police personnel stopped the students on the Baba Ganganath Marg, around 600 metres from the main gate of the university and some of them were forcefully blocked from moving ahead.
Several leaders of the agitation were detained by police when they were insisting on marching forward. The varsity’s students have been protesting for nearly three weeks against the draft hostel manual, which has provisions for hostel fee hike, dress code and curfew timings.
(With PTI Inputs)