New Delhi, Nov 18 (PTI) The Congress on Monday hit out at the government over protests by Jawaharlal Nehru University students on the issue of fee hike, saying the present dispensation is 'afraid' of any varsity which encourages free flow of thought.
Around 100 JNU students, including students union president Aishe Ghosh, were detained and some were injured when police allegedly baton-charged protestors as they marched towards the Parliament on the first day of its Winter Session on Monday, demanding a total rollback of the hostel fee hike.
Asked about the protest, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said this is a government which is afraid of the youth of India and of any university which encourages free flow of thought.
'This is the government which is scared of the people who think and who articulate their thoughts...The proposed fee hike of JNU will make JNU one of the most expensive central universities in the country and students are right in demanding the roll back,' Khera said at a press conference.
'In a democracy, (during) the five-year period between two elections there are very few weapons available in the hands of the people of India...peaceful protests is one such weapon,' he said.
If the government is scared of the students and the youth, obviously they will not allow them to exercise this right, he said.
'Why I call this government a scared government, because only a coward will resort to misusing agencies, to defending the lathi of the police, because they cannot look into the eyes of the youth whom they have failed miserably to engage with,' he said.
The protesting students sat at the road outside Safdurjung Tomb demanding the release of those detained and a meeting with officials of the HRD Ministry. The top brass of Delhi Police tried to initiate a dialogue with them and urged them to not take the law into their hands. PTI ASK ASK RDMRDM