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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Surat: Police halt Garba event, clash with students, PI apologizes

A Garba event at Veer Narmad South Gujarat University on Monday evening ran into trouble when Umra police reached the spot to halt it. An argument between the students and the police led to a three-hour showdown.

Garba event at the University

At 7 in the evening, a Garba event was underway at the University opposite the convention hall. The argument soon turned into a brawl with the police being accused of manhandling students when the latter protested. As per reports, ABVP regional head Himalay Singh Jhala and university campus head Ishan Mattoo were taken into custody along with three others and put in the lock-up.

This angered the students who created a ruckus by protesting against the police action. ABVP also accused the police of having beaten up the students in the University campus police station. As the news spread, members of ABVP gathered outside the police station to protest. Umra Police Inspector even apologized to the students. The student’s organization has appealed to other student unions to come together to raise their voices against police action.

The police, on the other hand, have said that 500 students had gathered for the Garba event in violation of Covid guidelines. They further stated that they were attempting to call the University dean but since they were unable to contact him, they entered the campus.

The ABVP had organized the Garba event for which they had already obtained permission from the university authorities. The police arrived at the campus after they suspected that more than the permitted number of students were present at the event.

This led to the aforementioned clash and arrest of students including Mattoo and Jhala. Following their arrest, several university officials including NSS chief Prakash Chandra, former syndicate member Vinod Gajera, ABVP member Alpesh Kathiria and syndicate members Kannu Bharwad and Kiran Goghari also reached the police station.

University registrar writes to police

On this occasion, the students are believed to have told the police that they would deflate the tyres of police vans if they entered the campus in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor. Addtionally, the university’s registrar Jaideep Choudhary wrote to police inspector KI Modi questioning the police. He is said to have asked how the police entered the campus without Vice-Chancellor Kishore Chavda’s permission and has asked for action against policemen including the PSI.

The ABVP resorted to a three-hour dharna protest after the students were released. They resorted to blocking the roads and raising slogans even after PI Modi apologized to the students and assured them that such action by the police would not be repeated in the future.

As per the ABVP, those students who had been kept in the lock up were also physically assaulted by the police. ABVP said Jhala had received injuries while some of the students’ hands were bleeding.

This news comes in the backdrop of continued assault on Hindu festivals by the secular state using the pandemic as a convenient excuse.

(Featured Image Source: Dainik Bhaskar)

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