UP Police baton charge protesting students:

Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh): Police baton charged students, including girls, even dragging some by the hair, in this Uttar Pradesh town after they refused to call off their road blockade to protest the murder of the school principal.

Students in this town, 50 km from the city of the Taj, were protesting the murder of the principal of S R Gyaneshwari Vidhyalaya. Four of the girls reportedly fainted following the police baton charge.

Rajesh Chaurasia, police official in-charge of the Rasoolpur thana, warned the crowd of more than 150 students to clear the road jam on Asafabad crossing, but they persisted with the blockade forcing the police to baton charge them.

Later, local politicians joined the students and locals to protest the police high-handedness and blocked roads in different parts of the city, leaving the city in turmoil for a couple of hours.

The protesters are particularly incensed over the reported dragging of four girls by the police. “The girls, between six and 16, were dragged by their hair by some cops,” said a functionary of the Samajwadi Party.

The students were demanding punishment for those behind the murder of principal Santosh Kumar Dhakra, reportedly by four unidentified assailants two days ago. Early this month, the manager of the school was also murdered.

District Magistrate of Firozabad, Vinay Kumar Srivastav, has ordered a magisterial inquiry.

Senior police officials in Agra said on Saturday night that things were under control and there was peace now in the city.

But political activists said that the glass city would see more trouble on Sunday if the authorities failed to announce compensation to the victims of Saturday’s police cane charge and also to the family members of the deceased principal.

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