Scores of students, who were seated on the UGC premises for the last three days against the scrapping of non-NET scholarship, were dragged and detained by the police in the early hours on Friday.
The UGC recently scrapped the non-NET scholarship for PhD and MPhil students of Rs 8,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.
According to sources, police also resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the agitated students who came to support the protest in the afternoon.
Several students, including girls, were injured in the "blatant use of force" by the police, said the source.
The source added that the police crackdown was aimed at dispersing the agitators who blocked the traffic at ITO. The police detained JNUSU president Kanahiya Kumar, JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora and several others. Students from Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and other universities marched towards UGC in support of students and their demands by afternoon.
The protestors faced heavy crackdown when they tried to forcibly barge inside the gates of UGC. The police tried to disperse the protestors who later on blocked the ITO Road for nearly two hours.
Heavy deployment of police personnel along with para-military forces were seen guarding the UGC and barricading the premises.
However, the protest outside the UGC took an ugly turn when police used forces against the protesters injuring several students. A student of DU Yashashvini Mohanty sustained severe injury on her head in the police action and started bleeding profusely. She was immediately taken to Lady Irwin hospital for treatment.
"Even the girl students were not spared by this colonial minded atrocious police," said Manish, PhD student of JNU.
"The policemen misbehaved with the girls and had beaten us severely," said Twinkle showing injury marks on her neck.
"From the morning they are giving timelines and at last they said that UGC Chairman Ved Prakash would not be able to meet us as he is out of station. What a silly excuse these blatant liars are making!" said Twinkle.
A delegation, however, comprising dozen of students met UGC Secretary, but returned dissatisfied because of cold response. The delegation alleged that the secretary did not give any concrete assurance for resolving the issue.
"We only got verbal assurance that the matter would be taken up in the next UGC committee meeting going to take place within two months," said Ashutosh Kumar, exPresident, JNUSU.
He said, "The official also assured verbally that till then no order would be communicated to the Universities for implementation of the present decision."
UGC authorities who were initially reluctant to meet agitators later on met a delegation. The protestors who were detained were released by the police in the evening.
Students and research scholars from all over the nation joined the protest and expressed their dissatisfaction over the UGC’s decision.
"Research scholars work under hard conditions and against several financial constraints but instead of increasing the fellowship they altogether stopped it, and the government talks of making the standard of research world class. There is a huge gap in what they profess and how they act," said Ashok Kumar Singh, ex-student of BHU.
The students who have occupied the UGC for more than 55 hours are gearing up for a nation-wide movement.
AISA activist Akhil said, "It is the students who have always led any successful revolutions. We cannot be a mute spectator to this huge discrimination. It is an ultimatum to the government, UGC and those supporting it."