Tribune News service
Shimla, March 18
As many as 24 persons, including policemen and students, were injured while one fire tender was damaged in a clash between SFI protesters and the police outside the Vidhan Sabha here today.
Hundreds of SFI activists, protesting against the implementation of RUSA, fee hike and deferment of the Students Central Association elections (SCA), gheraoed the Vidhan Sabha, demanding that the report of the high-power committee on fee hike should be made public.
Students were also angry that MLAs did not raise their issues in the House. Raising anti-government slogans,SFI activists marched from Panchayat Bhawan to the state Assembly. Violence erupted when someone from the mob threw a stone on the police when the protesters were returning after submitting their demand charter.
The police resorted to lathi charge and used water cannons to disperse the mob. Windscreen of a fire tender parked across the road was also smashed.
The police have registered a case of rioting and damage to public property under Sections 147, 148, 149, 109, 188, 353 and 352 of the IPC and Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act, 1984, said DSP Bhajan Dev Negi, who also sustained injury. Police teams have been sent to round up leaders, he added.
He said six police personnel, including a woman constable, was injured in the stone pelting by agitators, following which the police resorted to cane charge.
Students alleged that the police pushed the students from barricade and resorted to cane charge in which more than 15 students, including seven girls sustained injuries. The injured included Vijay, Sanjay, Pallavi, Anish and Monte.
The state government has been using repressive measures to crush the agitation, continuing for the past one year, said SFI state president Puneet Dhanta, adding that about 3,000 students had gathered here to protest the anti–students policies of the state government. The students would not be cowed down by repressive measures and the agitation would continue till the major demands were met, he declared.
CPM blames govt
Alleging that the CPM office was ransacked by the police, CPM leader and Deputy Mayor of the Shimla Municipal Corporation Tikender Singh Panwar condemned the attack by the police on party activists gathered in the office and said this act was cowardly and at the behest of the state government. There is no emergency situation that has drawn the police to enter the office of a national party.
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