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Cops halt march of agitating Civil Service aspirants to Parliament

New Delhi, Jul 25 (PTI): A group of Civil Services aspirants agitating against 'language discrimination' on Friday tried to march towards Parliament but were stopped by the police and later taken into preventive custody.

The protestors, who had clashed with the police on Thursday in North Delhi, were stopped outside Central Secretariat metro station from where they were taken to Parliament Street Police Station.

”We have detained around 150 protesters. Necessary preventive action will be taken if needed,” said a senior Delhi Police official.

Two metro stations--Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhavan --were shut to prevent the protesters from reaching anywhere near Parliament House.

”As advised by the police, the two metro stations have been closed for public from 12:45 pm till further advice. Interchange facility will be available at Central Secretariat,” said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson.        

The protesters claimed that the current format discriminates against those not proficient in English.        

”We wanted to go toward Parliament as there is no one from the government to talk to us. In this current format, there are more chances of discrimination to those who are not so proficient in English.        

”We have got assurances in the past but nothing happened. Yesterday, we were issued our admit cards and now on 24th (of August) we have our papers. We want something to be done immediately,” said a Civil Service aspirant.        

They have been protesting for sometime now demanding scrapping of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) and had blocked the main highway by-pass road near Burari in North Delhi last night after UPSC issued admit cards for the preliminary examination scheduled next month.        

They had clashed with the police, set several vehicles, including a police jeep, on fire, and indulged in stone- pelting leaving 12 people injured.

According to Joint Commissioner of Police Sandeep Goel, the incident took place around 8.30 pm when about 500 to 700 protesters tried to block the main highway by-pass road, demanding scrapping of CSAT.        

”Two roadways buses and a bike were also burnt by the protesters. Those injured included a roadways bus driver, a passerby and 10 policemen,” said Deputy Commissioner of police (North) Madhur Verma.        

As violence escalated, the police used teargas and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters.        

The police arrested 20 protesters and charged them with rioting, damaging public property, preventing public servants from performing their duty and assault.        

”We have registered a case under IPC sections at Timarpur Police Station. We have videographed the whole incident and more arrests are possible after those who indulged in arson and rioting are identified,” said a senior police official.


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