Hyderabad: The day when India became a Republic, is no day to protest, according to Telangana police. Even as hundreds of students from University of Hyderabad began to take out a Republic Day rally from Velivada in North Shopcom to the Ambedkar statue in Masjid Banda, police stopped them at the University’s main gate on Sunday.
The march to ‘Save Constitution’, slated to commence at 9 am, was called by the HCU Students’ Union, as part of commemorating Republic Day. Around 300 students had gathered to march towards the Ambedkar statue. However, they could not go beyond the campus as heavy security was deployed at the main gate.
The Cyberabad police tried to detain several students, in an attempt to curb the rally.
Speaking to NewsMeter, Abhishek Nandan, president of HCU Students’ Union said, “The Cyberabad police tried to detain me, and others, as we tried to take the protest outside the university. They put us in a van, let us go after over 30 minutes. In the wake of protests against CAA and NRC, and the anti-constitutional things that are happening in the country, it is important that we express our opposition, which is why we have called for this rally, especially as the nation celebrates Republic Day.”
The police had stopped the students’ march citing that they do not have permission to take the rally outside campus. However, the students allege that garlanding the Ambedkar statue at Masjid Banda is a routine practice on Republic Day, and that there is no reason for the police to stop them.
“Today is Republic Day, and it is also incidentally, a Sunday, which means that there won’t be much traffic. We have been doing this for the past five years, but the police was not ready to listen,” said another student.
Munna Sannaki, a PhD student from Ambedkar Students’ Association, said, “It is a shame that our constitutional right to protest and express dissent are violated. This is the irony of India’s democracy.”