The police seemed to have ‘no mercy’ when they repeatedly fired water cannons at a group of Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) members seeking a meeting with the University Grants Commission (UGC) this afternoon at the Lipton Circus, affecting even bystanders.
A force of several hundred police sleuths including the riot squads backed by a military unit blocked and hindered a group of about 30 IUSF members who gathered at the Lipton Circus around 2.30 pm today to go to the UGC to seek a meeting.
IUSF Convener Wasantha Mudalige who was leading the group demanded the police to let them pass through a wall of police and riot squad officers, saying that they had not come for any protest but to visit the UGC to get a meeting over the ongoing incidents of intimidation at a number of countrywide universities.
“We are here today not to stage any protest or lead a procession. We have come to seek a meeting with the UGC official to find a solution about the ongoing intimidation targeting students at several universities. So let us through.
We are here not to create any chaos or panic. It is you who create a fear psychosis and disturb the peaceful lifestyle of the public with these interferences. Three water cannon bowsers, hundreds of armed guards and some with wooden poles were summoned for what.
Like the general public let us peacefully go to the UGC to get our meeting done,” said Mudalige to the advancing forces.
Shortly after, repeated water cannon attacks came on the IUSF group forcing them to retreat to a private lane adjoining the Rajya Osusala building in Town Hall. The group then started shouting slogans and the police further launched more water cannon attacks even affecting pedestrians and passing by buses and vehicles.
The authorities later allowed five IUSF members to proceed to the UGC for a meeting whilst the rest of the group remained at the Lipton Circus. Mudalige and four others who went to the UGC returned after a brief meeting with the authorities.
He said the matter was brought to their knowledge and will await results. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)
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