Angry protests erupted and anti-government slogans were raised here on Thursday as the police abruptly refused permission for a convention to be attended by Gujarat Dalit legislator Jignesh Mevani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid.
Confirming the development, a Mumbai police spokesperson said that the permission has been denied for the Chhatra Bharati’s All India National Students Summit scheduled in Vile Parle, but declined to assign any reasons.
Official sources said that the refusal for the Left-oriented student body meet came in the wake of prohibitory orders imposed in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra after Wednesday’s shutdown, which left one student dead in Nanded and many more injured.
Opposing the police move, Chhatra Bharati members attempted to squat outside the Bhaidas Hall (venue) and many were seen running on the main road outside.
Defying police action, some members attempted to enter the auditorium, but were evicted by the police and several were bundled into a police van and detained.
Chhatra Bharati Vice President Sagar Bhalerao said that the daylong event was planned long ago in which both Mevani, Khalid and other prominent personalities were invited to speak.
They accused the police of acting at the behest of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in the state “to crush the voice of the students” who raise uncomfortable questions, but vowed they would continue their struggle.