Students Persist Despite Detentions and Lathi-Charge: Youth Congress Storms NTA Office Amid Protests

The indefinite strike at Jantar Mantar against the NTA and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has entered its third day.
Students Persist Despite Detentions and Lathi-Charge: Youth Congress Storms NTA Office Amid Protests

New Delhi: The ongoing indefinite strike led by various student organizations at Jantar Mantar has now entered its third day. However, student leaders alleged police actions are increasingly hampering their efforts to sustain the demonstration.

Anjali, the secretary of the Delhi University chapter of the All-India Students Association (AISA), shared a detailed account with The Mooknayak.

She explained that when they arrived at Jantar Mantar around 10:30 am, they were met with an unexpected and challenging situation: the entire area was surrounded by police barricades, effectively blocking access to their usual protest site.

“The police flatly informed us that we would not be allowed to stage our protest. They warned us that any attempt to do so would lead to our detention,” she recounted, alleging that the police tactic has significantly hindered their plans for the demonstration.

Despite the obstacles and the threat of detention, the students remained resolute in their determination to continue with their protest. Demonstrating resilience and resourcefulness, they devised strategies to maneuver through the narrow gaps between the barricades.

“We were able to counter the police's attempts to obstruct our protest. By squeezing through the narrow openings between the barricades, we successfully reached our designated protest site and commenced our sit-in for the day,” Anjali explained.


Two protests were simultaneously held at Jantar Mantar, with one led by the Congress' youth wing resulting in detentions, and another organized by various student groups under the banner 'India Against NTA', which saw the participation of two recently elected Members of Parliament (MPs).

In the afternoon of June 27, the police resorted to lathi-charging members of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) who too were protesting against the National Testing Agency (NTA) at Jantar Mantar, leading to a sudden escalation.

The situation turned chaotic when some protesters climbed onto a water tanker at the site. Despite multiple warnings to disperse, the police alleged demonstrators attempted to breach barricades, prompting the lathi charge.

Simultaneously, other demonstrations continued at the site by several student organizations, including the AISA, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), Disha and Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch (BsCEM).

These student groups commenced their indefinite strike at the venue on June 26 and were initially detained by the police, but they resumed their protest later in the evening.

Several MPs arrived there to express solidarity with the demonstrators.

Bihar's Karakat MP Raja Ram Singh addressed the sit-in at Jantar Mantar, emphasizing that aspiring students have lost confidence in the NTA due to its persistent failures and allegations of corruption.

He pointed out that hundreds of students have taken to the streets to protest against the NTA, expressing disappointment over the disruption of these peaceful protests by the Delhi Police.

Shashikant Senthil, Congress MP from Tamil Nadu, highlighted the systemic oppression and exclusion faced by marginalized communities due to centralized entrance examinations. He affirmed his steadfast support for the protesting students.

Protest Escalation

On the afternoon of June 27, approximately 100 members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) — the student wing of the Congress party — staged a protest at the NTA office in Delhi’s Okhla area by locking it from inside. This demonstration was sparked by allegations of a NEET-UG paper leak on May 5.

The protesters, armed with chains and locks, chanted “NTA bandh karo (shut down NTA)”, while securing the office premises. The police and security personnel later intervened to disperse the crowd.

Earlier that day, members of the Indian Youth Congress also protested near Parliament while President Droupadi Murmu addressed a joint session. Holding placards and chanting slogans against the Centre, Youth Congress members also staged demonstrations near Jantar Mantar.

The police resorted to lathi-charge and detained several protesters after they tried to breach barricades during the demonstration. The Youth Congress labeled it a “Parliament gherao” and pledged to resume their march on Friday, underscoring the turmoil caused by paper leaks and irregularities affecting students and parents across the country.

Youth Congress chief B.V. Srinivas asserted that thousands of their members marched through Delhi on Thursday, representing the voice of students affected by paper leaks. He accused the police of brutally beating several protesting Youth Congress members.

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