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Police block student march on parliament in New Delhi

HUNDREDS of students battled police in New Delhi today after their march on Parliament against rent increases was blocked.

Police set up barricades and arrested students trying to cross, attacking some with truncheons. “The police used brutal force to disrupt our peaceful march and several students have been injured,” the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union said.

The march follows a fortnight of protests against an eightfold rent increase at the university.

One protester, Jyoti Sharma, told reporters: “I am the first from my family to study at university. By raising housing fees, they are putting a price on affordable education.”

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said: “A peaceful protest against unprecedented fee hikes is being forcibly stopped by police. [I] strongly condemn this denial of basic democratic rights.”

The CPI-M has warned that the university, which was formerly welcoming to disadvantaged students, has also scrapped its committee against sexual harassment in favour of a general internal complaints committee “which has already compromised the safety of women students in the campus.”

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