JNU students clash with cops, march to Parliament halted by water canons

JNU students have been demanding that Professor Atul Johri - charged with allegations of sexual misconduct - should be suspended.

JNU students clash with cops, march to Parliament halted by water canons
ANI Photo

New Delhi: Unruly scenes of violence broke out on Friday afternoon when a protest march of JNU students and members of JNU Teachers'Association (JNUTU) to Parliament was brought to a halt by Delhi Police. The protestors were demanding suspension of Professor Atul Johri - accused of sexually harassing students.

Students and Delhi Police officials clashed around the city's INA Market area after the protestors were asked to halt. To bring the crowd under control, cops had to make use of water cannons but even that did not deter the students from raising slogans, clashing with security officials and from attempting to continue their march towards Parliament. Police said the protestors didn't have permission to take out the demonstration and were asked to return to the campus. However, they didn't relent and started storming the barricades, a police officer said, adding the police then used batons and water cannons to disperse the protestors. "Several people were injured in police action," the officer said.

The main cause of their ire has been the fact that Johri has not been suspended by JNU despite serious allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

At least eight complaints were filed against Johri who was subsequently arrested on Tuesday and then given bail on the same day. Students have been demanding that he also should be suspended because they claim that is the right procedure followed each time a serious charge is levelled against a staff. The professor in the Department of Life Sciences though claims innocence and his lawyer has said that it is a political conspiracy being hatched against him. He also added that Johri had admonished certain students for having low attendance and it is because of this that these students decided to conspire against him.

(With inputs from IANS)

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