Jamia Millia Islamia students stage protest outside varsity

A police officer attempts to pacify students during thier protest march against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC), near Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi, Thursday. Photo: PTI

Students of Jamia Millia Islamia on Friday (January 31) gathered outside the gate of the varsity to stage a peaceful protest against the amended Citizenship Act, a day after a man fired a pistol at a group of agitators there, injuring a student.

The students carried posters that read “Stop Hate Speech, Safety really? What’s in the name and ‘Tamache Pe Disco, Jamia se Khisko’.”

Condemning the attack on students, the protesters said they were shocked when they saw the man emerge from the crowd and open fire in full public view amidst heavy police presence.

A student taking part in the protest, who did not wished to be identified, said, “When I got to know about firing, I rushed to the venue along with my friends to check. All we wanted was a peaceful protest. We have been protesting here for nearly two months. I definitely feel police could have acted much promptly.”

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Thousands of people and police personnel faced off against each other near the varsity on Thursday after a man fired a pistol at a group of anti-CAA protesters.

As night fell, massive protests broke out with agitated students and others gathering near the university, breaking barricades and clashing with police personnel.      The protests ended around 9 pm after police released four detained demonstrators, according to university and police officials.

Another student taking part in the peaceful protest on Friday said it is shocking how there is always an attempt to disrupt their peaceful march.

“We students have been protesting peacefully for the last two months. On Thursday, we were heading for a peaceful march towards Rajghat where we were to form a human chain.”

“But police had already put up barricades at several intersections. We somehow wanted to cross those barricades peacefully and head towards our destination,” he said.

Mohammad Ibrahim, a rickshaw puller, who is also a resident of Jamia Nagar, said students have been holding protest but it has been going on peacefully.

“I was riding my rickshaw nearby when I got to know that a man had fired at the students. Even amid heavy police presence, we feel that safety had become a huge concern for all of us here,” Ibrahim said.

Students said they will not allow political parties to take advantage of the peaceful protests and make it their playground for the polls.

After Friday prayers, more students are expected to join in for a peaceful protest here.

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Mohammad Asif and his cousin Mohammad Usman, who have come all the way from Dehradun to stand in solidarity with the protesting students at JMI as well as support the cause of several women protesting at Shaheen Bagh said there are some elements who want to disrupt the peaceful protests.

“I felt it was time that we also come out in support of students and the elderly women who have been tirelessly fighting for the right cause. There are some elements who want to disrupt the peaceful protests so that they can fail them from achieving the results,” said Usman.