NEW DELHI: Aishwarya Adhikari, covering the Jawaharlal Nehru University Long March for The Citizen, was manhandled by the Delhi police, her glasses were broken and her mobile telephoned snatched. She was following the march that met with barricades at INA market, with the police using water canons and lathis to stop the students from proceeding further.

The long march was completely peaceful and orderly, with students walking in lines, shouting slogans, carrying placards. The police followed the procession in large numbers but the strength increased to over 200 at INA market where the road had been barricaded. Even before the students could react the cops moved in and started pushing them around. This angered the students who tried to move on.

This was all that the police had been waiting for and they attacked the students with lathis, and water canons. Police brutality is visible in the video below, posted on Twitter:

Along with the students I was pushed around by the women cops, who broke my spectacles and snatched my phone. This despite displaying my press card, and letting them know who I was. Their response was “bhaar mein jao (go to hell).” They returned my phone but made a point of noting my name from my press card.

At least 24 students were taken away by the cops, including eight girls. No one has been released till the point of writing. Four Professors have rushed to the police station to secure their release, and this despite the fact that girls should not be detained after 6pm.

Not just JNU, but civil society and students from the other Delhi universities joined the march with thousands participating.Water canons were used against all in the march, including teachers and others who participated. The canons were taken down the length of the procession, to ensure that all were hit by the water.

The students are staging a sti in protest at INA, demanding release of the detained students. The march was in response to the open call by the JNU Students Union and Teachers Association to protest against the removal of deans and chairpersons from the Centres ; and the ongoing sexual harassment case where the accused Professor was arrested and released immediately on bail. The girls who have been harassed by him held a press conference in Delhi recently, and made it clear to the media that Johri was a serial offender. They also said that unlike the propaganda by some of his supporters in the BJP, they were not from the Left students organisations but actually most of them were registered members of the ABVP.