Lucknow, Sep 11 (UNI) Unrest amongt the student community in Uttar Pradesh continued for the fifth day today, following the Mayawati government's decision to ban students' union polls in the State.
Although the students were unable to stage large scale protests, peaceful agitations were witnessed across UP with almost 395 students arrested in the state under various sections of the IPC and CrPC.
Ranting anti-Mayawati slogans, a mob led by irate students took to streets at several places. All state universities and colleges remained closed today in Jaunpur, Gorakhpur, Gonda, Agra and Ballia.
In Varanasi, Harish Chandra Degree College student Union president Kishan Dixit organised a 'yajna' at the Mahamrityunjai Temple for seeking divine intervention so that ''better sense'' prevailed in Mayawati.
The situation continued to be tense in Gorakhpur and the neighbouring districts.
In Deendayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University, irate students shouted anti-BSP regime slogans and staged a 'dharna' under the leadership of varsity student union president Srikant Misra.
The student union leaders termed the Mayawati government's decision to ban the union polls as ''undemocratic.'' In Jaunpur, eight persons, including Youth Congress district president and student union leader Sanjay Tiwari, were arrested for violating prohibitory orders. However, they were later released on personal bond.
The opposition is also mounting pressure on the state government in the entire episode.
Talking to UNI, BJP legislative party leader Om Prakash Singh said, ''In higher education institutes, students have a democratic right to form an organisation to protect their rights.'' ''Efforts should be made to curb the deficiencies in the student unions. Banning students union polls is not a solution. As a education minister in 2000, I had left no stone unturned to curb these menaces, which had sanitised the student unions from anti-social elements,'' he noted.
Earlier, police had used force in several parts of the state to disperse unruly mobs which went on a rampage to protest the decision. Several buses and other public property were damaged.
The ban was imposed by the state government to improve the education curriculum and environment in the state.
However the ban was not applicable to the three central universities Banaras Hindu University, Allahabad University and Aligarh Muslim University.
The CM had said the step was taken to regularise the academic session of the universities and colleges.
''These elections create severe law and order problem besides the educational activities of the students get affected,'' she added.