Several students of Panjab University and a few policemen were injured on Tuesday during a protest against a recent fee hike. Around 50 agitating students were also taken into preventive custody after a case of rioting and damage to public property was registered against them, reported Hindustan Times.
Student outfits such as Students for Society, National Students Union of India and Punjab University Students Union had called for a joint strike against the fee hike. However, matters went out of hand when the agitating students tried to enter Vice Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover’s office to discuss the problem, reported NDTV.
The situation turned violent when students reportedly pelted stones and flower pots at the policemen, who had cordoned off the VC’s room. The police lathicharged the students and also used water cannons and teargas shells against them. “We resorted to use force after students turned violent...Five to six police officials have also sustained injuries,” Superintendent of Police Eish Singhal told PTI.
The students said they had to take refuge in a gurdwara on campus. AS Ahluwalia, who heads the management of the gurudwara, did not allow the police officers to enter the sanctum sanctorum to arrest the students, according to Hindustan Times.
The students have been demanding a rollback of the hike in tuition fee announced by the varsity senate last month for the academic year 2017-18. For those studying BPharma, the fee has been hiked from Rs 5,080 to Rs 50,000 while that for the masters in journalism course has been raised from Rs 5,290 to Rs 30,000. Those studying dentistry will now have to shell out Rs 1.50 lakh, a steep jump from Rs 86,400. Varsity officials said they have hiked the fee by around 12.5% to tide over a financial crunch.