LATEST: #‎OccupyUGC‬ protesters defeat crackdown, reaching UGC in larger numbers

The Invincible Spirit of the #‎OccupyUGC Protesters Defeat Police Crackdown!
Students Continue Occupy UGC with Even Larger Numbers!

Also see: solidarity statement by Faculty Feminist Collective, JNU

For 7 days now, students continue the occupy UGC movement against UGC’s decision of reducing the scope of non-NET scholarship. No body from the UGC or the MHRD showed any interest to meet the protesting students on 27th October. No assurances were given from the authorities as well. The arrogance of the Government and the UGC forced the students to shaken the barricade of impasse. When the students expressed their disagreements with the government’s attitude, the police brutally came down upon the protesting students. Lathi charge on students started at around 5.30pm in the evening. The police did not stop at brutally lathi charging the students but continued the violence even inside the buses in which protesters were being taken to police thana. The JNUSU president, VP, Gen Sec were among those who braved the police lathi charge. Several activists such as Comrade Ashif, Comrade Akhil, Comrade Kanwalpreet, Comrade Abhishek, Comrade Suresh and Aizaj are badly injured.

But the spring that has started against fund cut, commercialisation and WTO diktat on Indian Higher Education has denied to stop. As soon as the news of police crackdown spread, students from all over Delhi gathered in larger numbers to the Kamla Market Police Thana. Around 400 protesters gathered at Kamla Market Thana demanding release of fellow protesters. After our comrades were released from the thana late at around after 11pm in the night, we marched again towards UGC. The Occupy UGC movement continues with greater resolve, strength and participation.

Our movement is resonating from all over the country- in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Allahabad, Raipur- AISA comrades have organised protests. Teachers and Teachers Unions are not only extending solidarity, but also participating in our protests. We have got solidarity from our South African friends. The ‪#‎feesmustfall‬ in South Africa and #OccupyUGC movement in India are together claiming rights of students, are defying commercialisation diktats in education.

University strike continues in JNU. Call for simultaneous campus strikes have been given in several universities in the country from 29th Oct. Students will gather at UGC in larger numbers at 2pm. The teachers and students will meet in a press conference and solidarity meeting. And we shall ensure that the UGC talks to a joint Student-Teacher delegation by today. If not we shall march forward to occupy MHRD.

We are categorical about our demands-

  • The UGC and the MHRD unequivocally comes out with notification making UGC 7th Oct decision null and void. We will not retreat until they agree to continue the fellowship for all newly enrolled students from next academic year.
  • The introduction of any exclusionary criteria such as merit or economic criteria has to be withdrawn.
  • The fellowship must increase from the present scale of Rs 5000/8000 to Rs. 8000/12000 commensurate with increase in JRF. The fellowship must also be linked to inflation index for all future purposes.
  • The fellowship must be expanded to all state universities without any exclusionary criteria and with an increased rate.

#OccupyUGC will not stop until then.
Let us meet at UGC at 2pm.

Update by Sucheta De

Students in other cities join in solidarity

THMA U RANGLI JUKI (TUR)’ statement from Meghalaya

‪#‎OccupyUGC‬ ‪#‎OccupyGovernment‬ ‪#‎StopHatePolitics‬ ‪#‎ResistCorporateHindutvaGovernment‬
Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR), a progressive people’s organisation of Meghalaya protests against the Saffron Corporate assault on Higher Education by Mr. Narendra Modi’s BJP government.

This government has shown its anti-people, anti-education, anti-rationality face time and again.
Withdrawal by UGC of research scholarships is one of those actions, through which the government want to make independent academic research difficult in the country as well create a situation where research is conducted only through corporate funding.

This government disdain for quality public-funded higher education and research has been clear from its actions vis-a-vis FTII and various institutions like ICHR. This government stands for its neo-liberal, hindutva patrons who can not accept rationality and knowledge.

TUR also stands in solidarity with the students who all around the country are resisting this move. Their struggle has made this hate peddling government fearful and thus yesterday their police brutally attacked peaceful #OccupyUGC movement of the students in Delhi.

A government which attacks its young for their dissent is an illegitimate government.
#OccupyUGC #OccupyGovernment #StopHatePolitics #ResistCorporateHindutvaGovernment ‪#‎TUR‬