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Agra: Six students’ union leaders land in jail, 3 on the run after showing black flag to UP’s deputy CM convoy

AGRA: Five workers of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), who were among nine booked for protesting and showing black flag to UP’s deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma during his visit to Agra University, on Tuesday surrendered and sent to jail. Former president of the varsity’s student union, Gaurav Sharma, is already in jail since Saturday. Meanwhile, three other student leaders associated with Samajwadi Chatra Sabha are absconding. Police said “required efforts are being made to arrest them”. Those sent to jail on Tuesday include NSUI’s state secretary Satish Sikarwar, and leaders Ankush Gautam, Apoorv Sharma, Lalit Tyagi and Ashish Kumar Singh. They surrendered at Hariparwat police station.

The FIR was registered against nine student leaders under IPC section 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), section 3 of The Prevention of Damage of Public Property Act, 1984 (mischief causing damage to public property) and section 7 of The Criminal Amendment Act, 1932 (loitering near the place where a person carries on business). Ravi Kumar Chaubey, a city-based lawyer, said, “The sections imposed on the students appear to be valid. Otherwise, court would have directed the investigation officer to remove them, and may have not sent the five accused to jail.” Congress’ state secretaries Shabana Khandelwal and Amit Singh were with the student leaders at the time of surrender. Meanwhile, NSUI leaders said that they have been protesting against the irregularities at the university for the last several years. Their protest against the deputy CM’s visit was also meant to highlight the anomalies. NSUI state coordinator Ankush Gautam said, “University conducted a fake convocation ceremony. Thousands of students are waiting for results and mark-sheets. Besides, vice-chancellor Arvind Kumar Dixit is not allowing students’ union elections to take place. To highlight all these issues, student leaders waved black flags at the deputy CM’s convoy. We are happy to go to jail and ready to face even worst consequences. But we will not stop raising genuine issues”.
Talking to TOI, one of the arrested student leaders, Satish Sikarwar, said, “We have been frequently raising issues concerning students with the university administration, but in vain. We had also requested for an appointment with the governor of Uttar Pradesh which was not sanctioned. Hence, we had no option but to show black flags to the deputy CM.” He added, “Case was registered by police under stringent section following orders of the deputy CM. We have surrendered because police was harassing our parents and other family members. After coming out of jail we will resume protests against the university administration over the issues concerning thousands of students”.