Members of the Congress’ student wing National Students Union of India clashed with the police in Bhopal on Thursday during a protest against the National Education Policy, NDTV reported.
Vivek Tripathi, president of the Youth Congress media cell, said that many students have been injured and hospitalised.
The protestors alleged that the New Education Policy would lead to the privatisation of education. They also alleged that members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes had not been getting their scholarships, according to NDTV.
A video showed demonstrators and the police engaged in clashes near barricades and police officers baton-charging some of the protestors.
The Congress’ student wing National President Neeraj Kundan led the protest march. About 2,500 to 3,000 students from all districts of Madhya Pradesh took part in the demonstration.
Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and former ministers PC Sharma and Lakhan Ghanghoria also participated in the protest.
“In Madhya Pradesh, the scholarship of SC-ST [Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribe], OBC [Other Backward Class] students are irregular because of which college administration puts pressure on them for fees, and they are suffering,” Tripathi told NDTV. “We just wanted to meet the chief minister, but the students were lathi-charged, the police are registering cases against them.”
The Congress’ student wing said on Twitter that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan cannot suppress the voices of students through barricading, baton-charge and police brutality.
“Today, the students of Madhya Pradesh have come to your residence to speak up for their rights,” the student organisation said. “You [Chouhan] cannot save yourself by adopting a policy of repression.”
Later, the Congress’ student wing’s national president visited the party’s members injured in the clashes at a hospital.
Nath said that the police action showed the “dictatorial stance” of the government.
“The government is not providing employment to the students, it is not accepting their demands, but is attacking them with batons,” Nath said. “NSUI’s workers and students will not bow down to such repression. Their struggle in the interest of students will continue.”