[AI] Police remove visually challenged protesters

anilkumar k.r. anil1479 at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 29 02:28:49 EDT 2007

Police remove visually challenged protesters

Ananth Krishnan
— Photo: S.S. Kumar

Voicing demands: A visually challenged person being forced to get into a bus at the Kodambakkam bridge in Chennai on Friday. 

CHENNAI: The police forcibly removed blind protesters in three different areas of the city and detained them for several hours on Friday, as student groups and activists for the visually challenged continued their agitation urging the State Government to consider their ‘15-point charter of demands.’ 
Their demands include increased financial assistance for graduate and postgraduate students and reservation of five seats in government and government-aided colleges. 
Protesters at the Kottivakkam overbridge said that police had “slapped” them and used lathis to load them in buses while breaking up the protest. Police officials, however, denied the charges, saying that they only removed the protesters, with traffic being disrupted for more than one hour. 
Sixteen fasting students were taken to the Government Royapettah hospital, but they refused the intravenous treatment offered to them. Around 200 protesters gathered in Kottivakkam, and several others in Mylapore and Triplicane. 
Student groups for the visually challenged have been protesting and organising fasts across Tamil Nadu for three days. 
The groups have also asked the authorities to relax the norms for pension eligibility for visually challenged employees, as well as extend the special vehicle allowance provided for physically handicapped persons to the visually challenged.
Murugesan, a member of the College Students and Graduate Association of the Blind, told The Hindu that they would call off their protest if they were allowed to convey their demands directly to the Chief Minister.

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