Police used force to disperse hundreds of unruly undergrads who attempted to break through barriers on their way to Higher Education Ministry in Ward Place, Colombo yesterday.
Students were baton charged, tear gassed and later thrashed by Police anti-riot squad using water cannon.
Ten undergraduates were arrested while six others were hospitalised with minor injuries, undergrad sources said.
The ten students were produced before the Fort Magistrate and were remanded until next Thursday (13), according to the police.
Undergraduates organised by JVP-controlled Inter University Students Federation launched a protest march from the Viharamahadevi Park
calling upon authorities to shift the Buttala Applied Science Faculty of the Sabaragamuwa University to the main university premises in Belihul Oya.
Their aim was to march to the Ministry in Ward Place and set up a platform to begin a satyagraha.
A stage erected by undergraduates was removed by police last Saturday on a Court order.
`We wanted to resume our satyagraha campaign. Police attacked our comrades brutally. Police used Ammonia mixed with tear gas. Six undergraduates including a female have been hospitalised,` Convener of the IUSF Duminda Nagamuwa told The Island.
Among those arrested were six from Sri Jayewardenepura University, one from Peradeniya University, one from the Indigenous Medicine Institute of the Colombo University.
A bhikkhu undergraduate from the Kelaniya University, and another six had been hospitalised with minor injuries, he said.
However, the Director of the Accident Service of the National Hospital denied Nagamuwa`s statement on the admission six students to the hospital.
The students later sat on the road at the Lipton Circus causing heavy traffic congestion. Later, they retreated to their starting point of the protest march opposite the entrance of the Vihara Maha Devi Park.
Chairman of the UGC Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said that these undergraduates had not informed the UGC of the protest. Notice had not been given even of the earlier Satyagraha opposite the UGC.
Several pro-JVP organisations including the National Bhikkhu Front and National Trade Union Centre issued statements condemning the police using force on students.