#OccupyUGC: Protestors burn Effigy of West Bengal CM to Protest Lathicharge on Students
#OccupyUGC Day 15: As the #OccupyUGC Movement entered its 15th day, the protesters burnt the effigy of the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to protest the lathi charge on students protesting at the UGC’s Regional Office in Kolkata. The protesting students condemned this heinous act of the WB Govt. which lathi charged the students who were protesting peacefully at the Regional Office.
More and more teachers and activists came to the Occupy UGC site to express their solidarity. Teachers from JNU, including Prof. Bhaswati Sarkar, Dr. Vikramditya, Dr. G. Srinivas and others came to the site.
Prof. Chaman Lal who was formerly at JNU and is amongst one of the writers who has returned the Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the policies and actions of the Modi Govt. and its intolerance towards any form of dissent, had also joined the movement.
The protest also witnessed Prof. Yogendar Yadav former UGC Member, Prof. Anand Kumar, Prashant Bhushan senior lawyer, Dharamveer Gandhi, MP and other members of the Swaraj Abhiyan coming to the site and expressing solidarity with the students who are protesting there.
Today students in Madurai Kamraj University in Madurai, Tamil Nadu also protested against the UGC.
Prof. Yogendar Yadav said, ‘In Solidarity with the students who are sitting here day and night, I will spend 24 hours here with all of you.’
The President of the Allahabad University Students Union (AUSU), Richa also came and expressed her solidarity and support to ongoing movement, she said, ‘Students will fight the UGC diktat on the streets and together defeat the UGC’s anti-student policies.’
Dharamveer Gandhi, MP, said, ‘The Govt. is anti-people. The only thing that they do is issue diktats what to wear, what to eat, whom to marry. They are cutting funds in education we will fight them inside Parliament and outside too.’
Prof. Chamanlal said, ‘the RSS Mouthpiece today has brought out that JNU is an anti national place, we condemn this statement. JNU for years has upheld democracy and rights of people either during emergency or during the Sikh riots. Today JNU students have played a major role in the anti fund cut movement.
Prof Anand Kumar said, ‘The British Raj didn’t let Indians study for 200 years and now even after Independence the government is denying students the right to education.’
Addressing the students after the effigy burning, AISA National President Sucheta De said, ‘The repression unleashed by the WB government only reinforces the fact that the Govt. is unwilling to talk to the protesting students and instead wants to impose police action on them. As each day passes we are seeing more and more students and activists joining in, today we even have a Member of Parliament joining in. AISA has started its campaign for the March to MHRD on the 5th of November and we are expecting students from all over the country to come to Delhi on the 5th.’
Report and photographs by Akhil Kumar.