Thousands of students and teachers are protesting in the heart of the Indian capital over the death of a student who faced caste discrimination and the arrest of a student leader on sedition charges.

Shouting slogans and holding placards, the protesters from New Delhi's two main universities marched near the Indian parliament Tuesday, demanding the immediate release of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and condemning violence by supporters of the ruling Hindu nationalist party.

Kumar was arrested earlier this month over his participation in events at the Jawaharlal Nehru University where anti-India slogans were allegedly shouted.

Opposition politicians who addressed the rally accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of suppressing freedom of expression and fanning communal tensions.