Pondicherry University students protesting fee hike 'detained' by police; forcibly evicted from main entrance of University
Photo: ANI/Video screengrab

Pondicherry University students protesting against a fee hike were on Tuesday forcefully evicted by the police from the main entrance of the university.

A video posted by ANI showed students being forced by police officials into a bus, even as slogans ring out in the background.

Many on social media posted videos and updates on the same, including the Twitter handle of the Central Executive Committee of the Students' Federation of India (SFI). The student body alleged that "Pondicherry Police had arrested the peaceful protesters".

"India is country where no opposition is allowed. Such a shame in the name of democracy. BJP is killing India," it wrote, attaching a video where several people can be seen boarding a bus amid sloganeering.

The protests, SFI says, are being led by the student council of the University., against "the drastic hike of academic fees". The protests started on February 6.

A Twitter handle identifying itself as the Students Council - Pondicherry University adds that the students have been "detained" in their own campus. In another tweet the handle added that students "we're not being allowed washrooms to freshen up".

"We're not allowed to leave the premises and come back, so we have no food and very little water," it wrote.

"The CRPF has actively cut off access to all facilities, trumping the authority of the police. Forces still flooding the Admin Block," it wrote in another tweet.

The protest comes at a time when there is unrest in several parts of India. This week, clashes between CAA supporters and those against the contentious Act has seen seven people lose their lives. Over 100 people have been injured in the clashes.

The Pondicherry University protest is also reminiscent of the JNU fee hike protests at the end of 2019. A revised hostel manual put forth by the JNU administration had raised hostel fees -- from Rs. 10 for a twin sharing room and Rs. 20 for a double sharing room to Rs. 300 and 600 respectively. Other bones of contention included the addition of utility charges and service charges, and increased mess security deposit charges.

Following lengthy protests, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Executive Committee had announced a partial roll-back of the newly proposed hostel fee hike and other stipulations.

(With inputs from agencies)

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