The police in Montreal have arrested 85 university students protesting against planned tuition fee hikes.
Thousands of students, angry over the prospect, swarmed the streets of the city on Thursday, a day after talks broke off between the Quebec provincial government and student groups over the planned increases of USD 375 a year, the Associated Press reported.
The arrests were made after the police in riot gear fired teargas canisters at the students and tried to disperse them.
The proposed plan is scheduled to be effective from the 2012-13 until 2016-2017 academic years. The annual rise would mean that every given student would have to pay up an overall added sum of USD 1875 over the course of the plan.
Wednesday’s talks broke down after the government excluded some student groups from the discussion, accusing them of promoting violence.
The provincial government said it would resume the talks on Friday, but several major student groups said they will not return to the discussion unless those excluded were allowed back in the process.
The rally is the latest episode in the students’ escalating push against the planned increases.
Students have been holding almost daily protests over the past weeks, blocking bridges and major roadways in an attempt to add up pressure on the government to drop the plan.
Despite mounting public discontent, the authorities have so far refused to budge on the issue.