Fresh protests erupted outside the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras campus on Saturday after the university banned a Dalit students' group on Friday for spreading pamphlets against the central government.
The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) staged a protest against the college administration, marching towards the college shouting slogans. Several of the student activists were reportedly detained by police, who surrounded the campus amid security fears.
Students protesting against the ban were stopped by police and pushed into buses after they were detained. Several of these protestors included women. They claimed that by banning the students' group, the college was showing disrespect to the teachings of BR Ambedkar and Periyar. The students' group had been organising a series of seminars and one of their speakers had spoken out strongly against the central government and Modi's policies, reported CNN-IBN.
Many of the student protestors included women.
The college had de-recognised the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle yesterday after an anonymous complaint was given the the Central government, alerting them of anti-Modi sentiment propagated by the group. They students had been distributing pamphlets and posters that criticised Prime Minister Modi's policies over the past year.
While the Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani claimed that her department had nothing to do with the banning of the student group, the acting director of the institute, Professor K Ramamurthy, said that the group of around 20 students was not working within the college guidelines and were thus banned. The students will now have to present their response to the college board. They have been meanwhile barred from using the college's auditorium, email, and notice board, or associate themselves with the college in any way.
Congress has come out in support of these students, with party vice president Rahul Gandhi taking a lead in the issue.