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Students lockdown NUSRL Ranchi again; State orders brute force on peaceful protest again, arrests 10 students

The state goes loose cannon on students protesting peacefully in their own campus for their own rights
The state goes loose cannon on students protesting peacefully in their own campus for their own rights

10 NUSRL Ranchi students, including one female student, have been arrested by the local police this evening, after the Jharkhand high court authorised the police to use physical force to clear out a peaceful protest led by the students inside the campus of the law school.

Water cannons to be used by the police are now stationed inside the campus since 4pm and the protesting students - which is the entire student body of the law school - are surrounded by police platoons, students told us but added that the police have not used the cannons yet. The force surrounding the students has also been covered by Zee News today.

The arrested students were not handcuffed and walked away, but were lifted up and dragged by police personnel to police vans stationed outside the campus gates, after the protesting students refused to budge from their positions inside the campus near its gates, according to the account of other protesters.

Students who were arrested have been made to sit inside the vans for now, and have not been taken to the jail.

The student body has been sitting out in protest, near the campus gates, since Monday evening 5pm following a verbal altercation on Monday at around 1130am between NUSRL's temporary vice chancellor (VC) Gautam Chaudhary and around 200 students who had demanded from him a CCTV footage of the faculty recruitment process at the law school.

A student part of this altercation told us that following students' frustration with NUSRL's faculty quality, around 200 of them had confronted Chaudhary on Monday morning asking him to share the recordings from the CCTV cameras that are allegedly already present in the room where the administration takes interviews for selecting new faculty.

Chaudhary refused this demand, outright, said the student, and a huge argument followed.

On 5pm that day around 150-200 students gathered in protest near the campus gates, and the rest of the student body joined them Tuesday morning onward.

The campus lockdown protest had first begun in April, and had continued for 4 days, demanding a complete administrative overhaul at NUSRL including the ouster of then vice chancellor (VC) BC Nirmal.

It had been called off after Chaudhary was appointed as a temporary head replacing Nirmal, but with the students making their intentions to protest again clear if they saw no improvement in the heavily mismanaged state of affairs of the law school.

In late August the students alleged in a letter that the promises made to get the protest called off in April, were merely cosmetic.

One student told us that initially they were ready to steer clear of a ruckus on campus on Saturday 16 September - the day of the Chief Justice of India's visit to their campus. But after Chaudhary allegedly threatened protesting students with harm to their career, they are in no mood to soften their stand.

Support for the students' cause has flown in from NLUJAA Assam, NUSRL's own alumni and Amity Law School Lucknow.

RMLNLU Lucknow was the other NLU to have most recently called off a similar peaceful protest against administrative apathy, with the difference that the student body there was not once faced with police force during their week-long protest.

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