Police on Thursday resorted to lathi-charge to disperse Samajwadi Party workers, protesting before the Raj Bhawan against the Centre's decision to hold all-India joint entrance examinations for graduation courses in medicines and engineering in September amid the pandemic.
SP workers of party's student wing reached the Raj Bhawan in the afternoon and started raising anti-government slogans for organising the NEET and JEE amid the pandemic at “considerable” risks to students.
The police stopped the SP workers and resorted to lathi-charge to control them. They were later detained and sent to police lines, a senior police official said.
SP president Akhilesh Yadav earlier wrote an open letter opposing the Centre's decision to hold NEET and JEE amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said the BJP-led government at the Centre is unnecessarily putting the students' health at risk. He also shared a video of the incident where the police lathi-charged on the party workers who had staged a protest on his Twitter handle, calling the incident shameful.
JEE, NEET परीक्षा टालने के लिए परीक्षार्थियों के समर्थन में सड़कों पर उतरे सपा कार्यकर्ताओं पर निर्मम लाठी चार्ज घोर निंदनीय है! #StudentLivesMatter#INDIAunitedtoPostponeJEE_NEET#ProtestAgainstExamsInCOVID#PostponeNEET_JEE#AntiStudentModiGovt#HealthOverNEETjee#NoMoreBJP pic.twitter.com/LbZiq9E0AQ— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) August 27, 2020
"Funny and illogical things are being spread by the BJP which says when people can come out for other work, why can't they give exams. It has forgotten that people are moving out in compulsion and even those who want to stay at home to save themselves are now being forced to come out of their homes in the name of examination," Yadav said in the letter.
The SP chief asked who will be responsible if students contract the infection. He claimed the saffron party is only concerned about people who vote for it.
"It appears that the BJP has come to know that youths facing unemployment would no longer vote for them and so, it is acting in a revengeful manner against them and their guardians," Yadav alleged. Supporting the demand for postponement of NEET and JEE examinations amid the pandemic, seven chief ministers of non-BJP-ruled states on Wednesday had decided to jointly move the Supreme Court on the issue.
While the NEET is scheduled to be held on September 13, engineering entrance exam JEE Main has been planned from September 1-6.