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Several hurt as police lathi-charge, use water canons to stop JNU students' march

A large number of JNU students and teachers were on Friday stopped from marching to the Parliament Complex over various demands, including academic freedom, with police resorting to lathi-charge and use of water canons.

In the ensuing melee, several students are said to have gotten injured.

The "Padyatra", which started at the varsity's campus, was organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA).

The protesting students claimed that the attack by the police was "unprovoked" with a woman journalist alleging that a man in uniform "groped" her and asked her to vacate the place.

"At the INA bus stop, we were stopped. They (the police) used water cannon on us. They lathi-charged us. We were detained and taken to the Defence Colony police station," JNUSU, joint secretary, Shubhanshu Singh said.

"The attack by the police was unprovoked," he said.

The journalist alleged that she was "groped" by an Inspector of the Delhi Police and asked to vacate the place. She has lodged a complaint with the police.

JD (U) leader Ali Anwar Ansari said, "We will raise the issue in Parliament. Fight and studies should continue."

CPI leader Brinda Karat said, "The JNU vice-chancellor has become a chancellor of vices. A professor accused of sexual harassment has place in the varsity and being protected by the V-C."

Others who offered support to the the march were RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha and Congress' Ashok Tanwar.

The associations are demanding academic freedom, accessible and equitable education among others.

The teachers' body had requested other associations to join the protest march.

Their other demands include withdrawal of the executive council decision to constitute a committee to take action against teachers and the immediate withdrawal of notifications replacing chairpersons who were opposed to implementing compulsory attendance.

The JNUTA had earlier launched a three-day 'Satyagraha' inside the campus to raise these demands.