(Published in Millennium Post on 29 June, 2012)
150 protesters, including women and children, were arrested at a protest demanding the implementation of the Right to Education Act, in Chennai.
The group held a demonstration in Nungambakkam area of the city, in front of the office of the Directorate of School Education.
They were demanding that 25 percent of seats in private schools be reserved for underprivileged students.
As the protesters tried to create a blockade, a posse of police personnel, headed by Assistant Commissioner Venkatachalam, broke up the gathering, and arrested 150 people, including 15 children and 45 women. 7 people who were injured while resisting arrest were admitted in Kilpauk Medical College hospital.
The issue of reservation of 25 percent of the seats in private schools is a contentious issue in the city, which many believe has enough government schools, and government-aided schools to cater to the needs of the underprivileged.
Parents are also worried that private schools may try to make up for the lower fees paid by underprivileged children by hiking the already exorbitant fees for other students, to compensate.