Indian students protest over student leaders death

May 16, 1997

* Late last month, as the campaign for the arrest of the "killers" of the radical student leader Chandrashekhar Prasad spread (THES, April 25), nearly 10,000 university students from across India rallied outside Parliament House alleging that an MP of the ruling Janata Dal party had "masterminded" Prasad's death.

Several students were injured when the police caned them to prevent them from climbing over the gates of Parliament House. Later, they met the prime minister, J. K. Gujral, but failed to get an assurance. Spokesman Ranjit Abhlgyan said they would step up their agitation. Prasad, a former student president of the Jawaharial Nehru University and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) activist, was killed in the eastern Indian state of Bihar while leading a campaign against the powerful "land mafia". His killing has sparked off countrywide protest with students describing it as a political murder.

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