Students of L.S Raheja School of Arts were reportedly manhandled by the police on Wednesday while they were protesting outside Mantralaya over the cancellation of their course.
Hundreds of students had gathered outside Mantralaya to protest against the cancellation of the Foundation Course and the college’s demand for extra fees under the ‘Chillar Feko Andolan’.
The students, many of whom were affiliated with Vidyarthi Bharthi Sanghatan, had notified the authorities that they will be staging a protest outside Mantralaya, which led to heavy police presence in the area.
During the protest, a student, Rahul Gharat, was seriously injured and had to be taken to GT Hospital at CST for head injury. Others were forcefully dragged away from the state government’s headquarters and taken to Marine Lines police station. The students were detained for a few hours and allowed to walk free. No arrests were made.
The students staged the protest after the college decided to shut its one-year Foundation Course following a property dispute, which forced the college to move out of its Bandra (West) location to the Bandra (East) campus in June. Hundreds of students were left in a lurch since it was the only college that offered the course.
Apart from the course’s cancellation, students were also miffed with the management over the exorbitant maintenance fees, which ranged from Rs 10,000 from first and second year students to Rs 7,500 for third year students.
Following the incident, cops maintain that they did not manhandle anyone. A senior official with Marine Drive police confirmed that the students were asked not to protest at Mantralaya, but they chose to ignore the request. When they were asked to leave, they resisted and had to be detained. Moreover, cops have also recorded the entire incident on camera.
Meanwhile, the college has no plans of refunding the student’s fees. When contacted by a leading daily, the principal of the college said the management would take a call. The managing committee, however, passed the responsibility to the trustees.
The students remain adamant that if college authorities or education department fails to do justice by them, they would stage the next protest at Education Minister Vinod Tawde’s house.
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