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JEE mains, NEET 2020 row: SP youth wing activists lathi-charged during protest

Police on Monday resorted to lathicharge to disperse members of ‘Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha’, student wing of the Samajwadi Party (SP), as they moved towards Raj Bhavan against the Centre’s decision to hold all-India Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) amid the Covid-19 pandemic from Tuesday.

The protesters gathered outside the SP office and headed towards Raj Bhavan to hand over a memorandum to governor Anandiben Patel demanding deferment of NEET, JEE as students and their parents were concerned about their wards’ well being.

The police stopped protesters near Samajwadi Party crossing and prevented them from going towards Raj Bhavan. The protesters alleged that the police had barricaded the crossing and did not let them go towards Raj Bhavan.

Digvijay Singh Dev, who led the protest, said the ‘Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha’ was also concerned as how forcibly educational institutions were realising fees from parents and harassing those who were unable to pay because of salary cut or job loss due to the pandemic.

Recently, SP national president Akhilesh Yadav in a tweet had said the Centre, which was in a hurry to hold NEET, JEE, should tell when educational institutions will open after the exams get over and when selection process will end.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), which is tasked with conducting various entrance examinations, had announced last week that NEET will be held on September 13 and JEE will be held from September 1 to 6. The NTA had also assured candidates of taking measures to ensure their safety during the twin exams.

The agency has also increased the number of exam centres to reduce the number of students per centre and it also claims to have allocated ‘exam centres close to the residences of the candidates’.

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