The Congress party’s student wing, National Student Union of India (NSUI), organised the “Chhatra Adhikar March” on Friday to protest against rising unemployment in the country.
Thousands of students and party workers from Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh gathered at the NSUI office here before beginning their march towards Parliament building raising slogans like “Naukri Do Ya Degree Wapis Lo” (give us jobs or take our degrees back).
Demanding justice for the youth of India, who are “victims of increasing unemployment and no jobs scenario” in the country, the protest aimed at challenging the government’s power and highlighting how it had failed the “expectations of the students”, the NSUI said in a statement.
The speakers at the protest noted that the Union government had been oblivious to the sufferings of the youth, caused by an all time high unemployment, scams in various exams, and inactive placement cells.
The Bihar and UP teacher recruitment issue, pending results of various exams including, SSC Gd 2016, were also among issues that were noted at the protest.
Addressing the protesters, Congress leader Udit Raj criticised the government’s decision of “lateral entry” into central government departments, saying it was a “violent strike on the employment aspect of the youth”.
“There are 8-10 lakh students preparing for the IAS exams in Mukherjee Nagar. With lateral entry into government secretariats, not only reserved categories but the students of general category too will suffer,” Raj said.
“You will have to protest against those as well. We won’t allow lateral entry at any cost. The government is planning to take 400 IAS officers through lateral entry without any exams. They are ruining your future,” he said.
As the protestors began their march towards parliament, they were stopped by the police on the Raisina Road in front of the NSUI headquarters. The road was barricaded at both ends.
Several protestors, including NSUI national president Neeraj Kundan, who climbed over the barricades, were detained by the police which used mild lathicharge to control the crowd.
“Around 150-200 protestors, including a team led by Neeraj Kundan, have been detained and taken to the Mandir Marg police station during a peaceful march towards parliament. The police lathicharged several students. Many have also been injured,” NSUI national secretary Lokesh Chugh told PTI.
According to the police, around 12 noon, members of NSUI and AICC led by NSUI President Neeraj Kundan and others put up a stage in front on Raisina Road without any permission and staged a protest using loud speakers with a call for ‘Sansad Gherao’.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said the protestors were informed regarding section 144 CrPC and COVID-19-related laws enforced in the area, but they tried to forcefully move towards Parliament.
“They were requested not to breach 144 CrPC and not to march towards Parliament house. Loud hailer was used to appeal to them but some of them started jumping over police barricades and marching towards Parliament house by causing traffic hindrance, so they had to be stopped from doing so,” he said.
A total of 120 protesters were detained and sent to Mandir Marg police station. They were released later, he added.
A case under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant section of The Epidemic Diseases Act and The Disaster Management Act has been registered in this regard, the DCP said.
The protest was also attended by senior congress leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda, former railway minister Pawan Bansal, and party spokesperson Alka Lamba.
Hooda congratulated the NSUI for supporting the farmers’ protesting the three farm laws by organising ‘langar’ and helping out people during the lockdown period.
He proposed a new slogan — “Jai Samvidhan, Jai Naujavan”.
According to a statement by the NSUI, their organisation led by Kundan, will again hold a protest against the union government by blocking the Lok Kalyan Marg.