A day after the police crackdown in Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, protest erupted between police and the students in Lucknow’s Nadwa College, on Monday (December 16) and the collage has been closed till 5th January, 2020.
The country witnessed demonstrations in various places and in several campuses, including in Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai and Kolkata, students protested.
According to reports, the Nadwa college gate was shut, separating a team of police and protesting students. The students were seen pelting stones at the police.
Students gathered in the hundreds shouting slogans like “Awaz do, hum ek hain” (call us we are all united) as police tried to control the situation. “Some students of the Nadwatul Ulama here tried to protest and hurled stones from inside. They were prevented and no one is allowed to come outside the campus,” said Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh.
However, Superintendent of Police Lucknow, Kalanidhi Naithani, said, “There was stone pelting for about 30 seconds when around 150 people had come out to protest and raise slogans. Situation is normal now. Students are going back to their classrooms.”
Similarly, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) students held a protest against Citizenship Amendment Act and in support of Jamia students and demanded that their exams be postponed.
— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2019
The morning after violence broke out in the national capital following protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act, hundreds of students took to the streets demanding a probe into the usage of teargas inside the Jamia library as well as police entering the campus without permission from the varsity authorities.
Several Delhi University students boycotted exams to express their solidarity. They said they will gather at India Gate on Monday evening.
At ground zero of the student movement, a group of Jamia students stood shirtless in the bone-chilling cold of a Delhi morning to protest the action against their colleagues on Sunday. Slogans of “inquilab zindabad” were heard about 10 students, accompanied by their fellow colleagues, took out a small march, demanding a CBI inquiry into the “police brutality”. As a few women escorted an injured student to narrate their ordeal to the media, some people were seen asking them not to give any statements.
“We were inside the university when the police barged in. Around 20 policemen came from gate no 7 and 50 others came from the rear gate. We told them we were not involved in the violence. They didn’t listen. They didn’t even spare women,” Khanzala, who suffered injuries to his legs and abdomen, said.
A women broke down as Khanzala showed his injuries to the media. Fifty detained Jamia students were released early Monday but tension continued in the campus.
There were angry demonstrations at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi and at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata with demands that the government take action against police “hooliganism”.
“Crackdown is a very small word to be used for what happened in Jamia yesterday. This is clear hooliganism. Videos of policemen smashing bikes and beating students are all over social media. The government must fix accountability for this,” said a PHD student at BHU.
Ridhima Dua, a Jadavpur University student, asked how teargas could be used inside a closed compound. “If I am molested on a street and go to police to file a complaint I will be told about norms. Where are the norms now? How can teargas be used inside a closed compound? How can policemen just barge into the university without any permission from vice chancellor? There has to be a probe in this,” she said.
Students from the Tata Insitute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai also protested on the streets shouting slogans such as “Shame on Delhi Police”.
The first to join the protest against the violence in Jamia were students from the Aligarh University University (AMU) where there were clashes with the police late night on Sunday. After the protest, the administration announced closure of the university till January 5 and students have been asked to evacuate the hostels.
In a reply to the on going protest and appealing the students not to get influenced by the anti-social elements, DCP, South-East Delhi, Chinmoy Biswal, said, “This, police burnt buses, is an absolute lie. When mob was setting fire to properties, police tried to douse the fire by asking for water from residents. As far as the particular bus is concerned, police saved it by using water from a bottle.”
DCP South East Delhi Chinmoy Biswal: I appeal to Jamia students, that the image of University gets affected when anti-social elements join their protests. Protests should be peaceful and disciplined. pic.twitter.com/wRpQnwl51q
— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2019
The students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) also joined their compatriots in Jamia outside the police headquarters at Delhi’s ITO on Sunday night to protest the alleged police assault on students at the Jamia campus earlier in the day. The university turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus and also used force, following protest against the Act.
IITs join the stir
Students from three prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) joined the chorus against the police crackdown. The premiere institutions — IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras and IIT Bombay — are not the regular ones to join protests and usually stay away from agitations.
Various students across Tamil Nadu held protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, as well as the police action against their counterparts in Jamia Milia University.
Activists of Students Federation of India (SFI) held protests in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore railway stations and were removed by the police.
At the IIT-M, students were seen carrying placards with pictures of Mahatma Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar, condemning both the CAA as well as the police crackdown against students of Jamia Millia University. Further, a section of students of the city-based Loyola College staged a sit-in protest expressing solidarity with those from Jamia Milia.
“They struck down the students retaliation at Jadavpur University. We didn’t respond. They hiked the MTech fee, we didn’t respond. Manhandled the student protesters at JNU, we didnt respond. And now its JMI and AMU. Our commitment towards the students community is under huge jeopardy if we don’t respond now. Therefore lets come together for a campus wide march in solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University,” a poster by students from IIT Kanpur read.
Over 100 students of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
“We stand in solidarity with students around the country protesting against the CAA. We call upon you to not trample the democratic rights of citizens to peacefully protest an unjust law. We condemn the police action on students. Non-violent civil disobedience is at the heart of our republics founding. We urge you to ensure that students can protest peacefully, and that violence is not incited by anyone including custodians of state in positions of great authority and responsibility,” the letter said.
The letter signed by the students clarified that they have written it in their personal capacity.
AASU leaders held
Meanwhile, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) leaders Samujjal Bhattacharya, Lurinjyoti Gogoi taken into police custody along with over 100 protestors during rally in Guwahati against citizenship law.
Political parties support
Supporting the Jamia Miiia Islamia students and raising their voice against the Citizenship Amendment Act, various political leaders also staged a demonstration in their state on Monday.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Minorities Chairman, Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi on protests in Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU, said, “I appeal to the protesters that such protests should not be done. I also appeal to the police that they should show some restraint and control the situation calmly.”
“I also appeal to the protesters that protest isn’t needed as Citizenship Amendment Act isn’t against Muslims of India. If at all they’re protesting, it should be done peacefully.If Commission feels the need to issue notice, it’ll be done.”
(With inputs from agencies)