Students of Jamia Millia Islamia, who have been sitting on an indefinite hunger strike outside the university campus since Saturday morning, have accused the police and university guards of manhandling them without any provocation.
The students were protesting against the decision of the university to debar these students from giving exams because of low attendance. The university refused to recognise their medical certificates, students said.
"It was a peaceful protest. We were just standing and holding a bedspread over our heads to protect ourselves from the sun when security guards from the university and the police came and started to hit us," said Nabila Zaidi, a protesting student.
Out of the 17 students who were protesting, 13 were girls. "Despite this there was not a single woman police official at the site," Zaidi added.
The students had appealed in the high court, which had upheld the university’s decision to debar them from examinations.
While denying allegations that university officials were involved, Jaima spokesperson, Simi Malhotra said, "A former student, who was banned from the campus because of a disciplinary issue, had entered the campus and that is why we called the police."
University officials also said that since the high court order is binding on them, they can't help the students even if they want to.
"Since the students had approached the high court, we will have to do what the order says, Malhotra said.
Delhi police spokesperson, Rajan Bhagat, however, said, "Police were present to prevent any untoward incident and did not resort to lathicharge."