The Lucknow Police, which has charged the students under serious offences including rioting, has rejected accusations of an overreach and said that the students were responsible for a breach in the Chief Minister's security protocol. Eight of the 11 students arrested have been suspended by the university in wake of the incident.
The students allege they were protesting to highlight the "double standards" of the university administration which claims lack of funds but sanctioned "more than adequate money" for the function, to celebrate on Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, attended by Mr Adityanath.
"They were using university funds for the gala programme. The students went to protest it and were slapped with such serious charges. If the students don't get bail in three days, we will launch a protest," said Shahid Ahmed, a member of the Samajwadi Sangh.
Protests were organised in Delhi outside the UP Bhavan today against the arrests. Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union president Mohit Pandey said, "It is shameful that the government is branding everyone who protests against them as Naxalites and anti-nationals. We have seen this in JNU and we are seeing the same with the Bhim Army and the students of Lucknow University who protested against Yogi Adityanath."
The Lucknow Police said it has ordered an enquiry into the "security breach" and that the police inspector in-charge of the area has been removed from his post.