Students and Teachers
On June 17, 2022, Human Rights Defenders Alert sent an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India over the unprovoked lathi charge (baton charge) by the Punjab Police on June 9, 2022 on unarmed students who had assembled peacefully for a protest and a march at Mohali-Chandigarh. The lathi charge resulted in injuries to many peaceful protestors.
Students and teachers were protesting against a recent order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to consider converting Punjab University into a central university. On June 9, 2022, around noon a group of students and teachers gathered at Amb Sahib Gurdwara, Mohali, where student leaders addressed the protesters. At around 2 pm, they started a march from Mohali towards the Governor House and the house of the Chief Minister of Punjab. When they entered the Chandigarh border, a large contingent of Punjab Police tried to stop them at the YPS roundabout and lathi-charged them without any provocation. Several students were injured in the lathi charge.
We believe that a lathi-charge on a peaceful assembly is arbitrary, illegal, and a serious violation of constitutionally guaranteed right peaceful assembly and a violation of international human rights laws.
We urged the Hon’ble Commission to take cognisance of the abuse of power displayed by the police and direct the Director General of Police of Punjab to initiate an immediate, independent, thorough, transparent, and impartial investigation into the lathi charge.