Students protesting against NEP caned near Vidhana Soudha
Imran Khan, National Secretary, Campus Front of India (CFI) -- which organised the protest, said many students were injured and several were hospitalised.
BENGALURU: Around 300 students protesting against the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) were lathicharged by the police near KR Circle on Tuesday morning as they tried to march towards Vidhana Soudha, where prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been clamped because of the ongoing legislature session.
Imran Khan, National Secretary, Campus Front of India (CFI) -- which organised the protest, said many students were injured and several were hospitalised. But the police maintained that only two were hurt. All the protesters were taken into preventive custody and later released.
Students were demanding that NEP-2020, which has been implemented in Karnataka first, be taken up for discussion at the legislature session. They also said that the policy should be withdrawn. “NEP-2020 has not yet been discussed either in the Assembly or Council. Only workshops have been conducted. The policy is unscientific. It will not just centralise education, but also lay emphasis on privatisation and commercialisation, besides saffronisation,” alleged CFI General Secretary Anees Kumbra.
CFI had sent its objections to NEP in 2019 to the Ministry of Human Resource Development over complications in the draft policy, but none of the opinions of organisations or education experts were considered, Kumbra said.
Kumbra, CFI Secretary Sarfaraz Gangavathi and committee member Murshida Mangalore were among those taken into custody. Video clips of the lathicharge went viral on various social media platforms and news channels.
A senior police officer said the protest affected traffic around Mysuru Bank Circle and Sheshadri Road as students tried to block roads before marching towards Vidhana Soudha. “The lathicharge was ordered only when the situation went out of control. The protesters were taken into preventive custody,” he added.
The All-India Democratic Students Organisation and other associate organisations condemned the incident. Leader of Opposition Siddaramaih tweeted about “police brutality” against the students.