Central Executive Committee of the Students’ federation of India condemns the brutal lathi charge on the students’ march to HP vidhan sabha in Shimla today, injuring a large number of students including girl students. State secretary Suresh Sarwal and President Puneet Dhamta were also injured in the lathi charge.
Thousands of students had rallied at the call of SFI against a host of anti-student educational policies in the state and a heavy police deployment had been made in Shimla since the morning itself. Police started lathi charge without any provocation on the students, immediately after the inauguration by National President Com. V. Sivadasan. It needs to be mentioned that this march to Vidhan Sabha was preceded by Jatha across the state demanding roll back of fee hike, increase in university’s budget, roll back of RUSA/CBCS and to bring back the students’ union elections. This Jatha got lot of support from students as well the broader masses and it is this support which has forced the Veerbhadra Singh government to act in such desperation.
SFI has led many a heroic battles of students in Himachal Pradesh and forced back many of the anti-student moves made by various state governments. We are confident that the student community of state will be victorious this time as well.
The educational policies affecting the students of HP, is linked intrinsically to the neo-liberal push at the national level, which is now being given shape of the National Educational Policy. What we are witnessing in HP, is not merely a struggle on some state level issues, students of Himachal have today pushed back the neo-liberal thrust in education. In this war over Public education, these are battles which have to be fought and won, ultimately to win the war. CEC of SFI calls upon all its units to organize National Protest day on 19th March against the lathi charge in Shimla, as well as, in support of the demand for a strong Public education. We also appeal to all democratic minded sections to rally in defence of Public education at a juncture when it faces such an attack.
Ritabrata Banerjee (General Secretary) Dr. V Sivadasan Kannur (President)
19th March, 2015