Hundreds of students protested outside the Delhi University Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) office on Monday, demanding immediate reopening of the campus, days after the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) allowed the resumption of offline classes in the national capital. The students allege that the Delhi Police took them into custody and beat them up. However, the police rejected their claims and said that the look governors were released immediately after reminiscent of the premises. The Students Federation of India, which organized the protest, claimed that its activists leading the protest had been “brutalized” by security personnel stationed at the vice-chancellor’s office. The student body alleges that three of its female activists were attacked by male Delhi Police officers.

Rejecting the claims, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi said in a statement that at the request of DU authorities, some protesters were removed from outside the VC office and released immediately after the vacancy was cleared.

Protesting students hung a “Out of Service” placard on the door of the VC’s office. The Students Union of India (SFI), which organized the protest, said more than 400 students had taken part in the siege.

Ankit Birpali, secretary of SFI in Hindu College, said, “The displeasure of the students is clearly visible. You can see it on their faces, you can hear their voices. The Vice Chancellor must make a decision in the next two days, otherwise we will have to break the locks of our class on our own. The SFI claimed that other student and teacher unions also supported the protest. It claimed that more than 53 departments of the university had boycotted online classes. Aarushi Sharma, a student of Miranda House, said, “Many of us are not in Delhi yet. As such, we were unable to attend the protest called by SFI. However, we have decided that we should take steps to send a message that the majority of students support the demand for reopening the university campus. Therefore, we have boycotted online classes today.

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Although the DDMA has allowed higher education institutions to reopen since Monday, the DU has not issued any instructions to resume offline classes on campus. Officials have said that the university will reopen in a few days and they will work out a strategy in this regard.

SFI has announced the launch of the ‘Classroom on the Road’ campaign from February 9 until the opening of the university. Abhishek, co-coordinator of SFI at DU, said, “There is a message for the classroom administration that both teachers and students want to resume offline classes. If they have any respect left for us, they should open the space immediately. On the question of reopening DU College, Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh said he would give the students a few days to return to campus.

“If DDMA allows 100 per cent attendance, we will definitely reopen the campus,” Singh said. But we will give our students a few days to return to campus, say ten days, because most of the students are from other states. We will create our own strategy.

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