Chennai, Mar 11 (): Loyola College students had embarked on a fast unto death at Koyambedu in the city protesting against the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. The students’ hunger strike enters third day today.
Out of the eight protesting students, seven of them were forcibly evicted by the police in the wee hours of today. There is no information about the eighth student. Considering the health condition of the students, the police said they have admitted the students in Royapettah Government Hospital here. The fasting venue has been sealed by the police.
One of the student protesters Joe Britto had said they are protesting to press a seven-point charter of demands including a proactive role by the Central government for an independent probe into the alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan army, a referendum on the demand for Tamil Eelam and slapping of economic sanctions on Sri Lanka.
Sembian, another protester said that it is purely a students’ struggle and that they have no political leanings and will not allow any political party or Tamil nationalist movement to guide or dominate them. Sembian also added that they have taken this decision on their own and they would continue with their protest until the Centre agrees to their demands.
Political leaders like CPI national secretary D Raja and the party’s senior leader R Nallakannu, DMK organizing secretary and MP TKS Elangovan and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan met the students on Sunday in solidarity of their support to the protest. MDMK leader Vaiko had also visited the students earlier.
The former TNCC president K V Thangkabalu met with some protest from a section of the students when he visited the fast venue, who raised slogans against the Congress.
Three senior college staff have been present at the fast venue to ensure a peaceful protest.
Meanwhile, the state unit of All India Students’ Federation has offered its support and announced that its members will boycott classes on Monday.
According to latest news reports, 16 students from other colleges across the city are also expected to join the fast.
On Saturday, DMK patriarch Karunanidhi had asked the students to withdraw their fast and adopt other peaceful means of protest.