Chennai, Mar 12 (): After eight students of Loyola College in the city called off their hunger strike that began on Friday on Sri Lankan Tamils’ issue, student protests have snowballed to other campuses across Tamil Nadu yesterday.
The students on hunger strike were arrested by police in the early morning hours yesterday, were admitted in hospital and later released in the evening.
One of the student protesters from Loyola College said that they want their protest to be a collective movement and now that other colleges are also with them, they will look for more considerable ways of making an impact.
The protesters’ demands included an international war crimes probe against Sri Lanka, referendum on Tamil Eelam and the closing of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai.
Henry Jerome, professor, Loyola College, said the protests were an unbiased attempt by students to convince the Central government and students from other colleges and the students did not allow political parties to hijack it.
The All India Catholic University Federation had also staged a protest on Friday.
Meanwhile, demanding justice for genocidal war crimes in Sri Lanka, student protests snowballed across Tamil Nadu on Monday, with class boycotts, fasts and demonstrations being reported from many cities and towns.
Students in about 25 colleges in the State abstained from classes, accusing Sri Lanka of targeting innocent Tamils during the civil war against Tamil tiger rebels. There were reports of relay fasts in at least 14 places.
Demonstrations were staged to urge India to vote against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC sessions,currently underway in Geneva.
Effigies of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa were also burnt in some places by some students of government arts and law colleges. Police said they had scaled up security arrangements for Sri Lankan establishments in Chennai.
Groups of students also demonstrated in Presidency College, while 15 students of Ambedkar Government Arts College started a fast on Monday evening with 200 supporters.
Students from St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchi, St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai, Government Law College, Tirunelveli, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Government Arts College, Coimbatore and two youths in Tirupur have begun indefinite fasts.
Class boycotts and other forms of protest were reported from Coimbatore, Erode, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Mannargudi. (Courtesy: The Hindu).
In a prèss meet, the Students’ Federation for Freedom of Tamil Eelam has reiterated that they would work to bring together all the students of Tamil Nadu to support the cause of seeking freedom for Tamil Eelam in a unified manner. They said they would continue to resort to chain protests and demonstrations in all formats.
They also asserted that they are neither offering any form of support to DMK-backed Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) nor backing the TESO-backed strike announced today.