Students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences along with other students from colleges of Mumbai expressed their solidarity towards the Occupy UGC protest that has been going on for over a month now. The students condemned the brutality of police on the peaceful protesters who marched towards the parliament yesterday. Here is the complete text of the Press release by the Mumbai Students solidarity group-
Protest Gathering condemning police brutality on students in New Delhi
On 9th December more than 600 students who were marching towards the Parliament in New Delhi were brutally water cannoned and beaten by the Delhi Police. Various students groups from across the nation and All India Federation for Right to Education (AIFRTE) were marching demanding that India should not sign the WTO-GATS agreement in Nairobi and in support of #OccupyUGC movement that called for increase, expansion and restoration of the non-NET fellowship for research scholars. At least 300 students were detained by the police and assaulted even in police custody. Women students were sexually molested by policemen in the police van; there was no presence of women officers while detaining them and also in the police station. Some of the students sustained physical injuries.
The current government has repeatedly tried to silence the voices of students who are demanding resolution of their genuine concerns. Police high handedness and institutional blackmailing have been used in many cases, in Film and Television Institute (FTII) protests, Jadavpur University, Pondicherry University etc. Protesting students in Manipur, Kashmir etc have also been violently dealt with by the police and military. The reaction of the government towards the OccupyUGC struggle has also been unresponsive. Thus, there is a general anti-student atmosphere in the country while education budget have been cut down.
We, research scholars and students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai stand in solidarity with the student community across the nation who was part of the protest. It is to be noted current and alumni of TISS were actively participating in the march, some of whom were also detained.
As a symbolic protest of police brutality on students, we will be holding a protest march and gathering in the campus on 10thDecember. Students will gather in front of the Old Campus Dining Hall at 1 pm and march towards the main gate and hold a protest gathering.
We condemn the police brutality in the strongest terms.
Action should be taken against police for unprovoked violence and detaining of students.
No cases should be registered on the students who were democratically protesting
FIR should be filed against erring officers and police officers who indulged in sexual molestation of women students.
Enquiry against and suspension of officer in charge of Parliament Street Police station, New Delhi
Mumbai Students Solidarity
Mumbai Students Solidarity is a collective of Research Scholars and Students of University of Mumbai, International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay(IIT-B), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences(TISS) and other colleges and Universities in Mumbai and different students organisations.