Jamia students get into scuffle with cops as they try to march to Parliament

Published on Feb 10, 2020 10:53 PM IST
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New Delhi:

Several students of Jamia Millia Islamia and nearby residents were injured on Monday following scuffle with police when they attempted to cross a police picket and march to Parliament to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The call was given by the Jamia Coordination Committee — a students’ body that has been managing the anti-CAA protests for nearly two months.

The scuffle took place after students attempted to march from the varsity’s gate number 7, which has been the site of the protest since December 16, towards Parliament and were stopped at the police barricade near Holy Family Hospital. Carrying the tricolour and anti-CAA banners, they attempted to cross the barricades and stood over them before the police dragged them out. Police said nine students were detained and were later released.

Deputy commissioner of police (southeast) RP Meena said the students wanted to carry out a march from gate number seven of Jamia Millia Islamia to Parliament House. “They did not have any permission. We barricaded the area and they were stopped. There was no lathicharge or use of water cannon against the students.”

Several students, however, alleged they were punched and were beaten with sticks. A university official said 55 students were taken to the university’s health centre before being sent to nearby Al-Shifa Hospital for treatment.

A first-year English student, whose name has been withheld, said she received muscle injuries due to the police action. “We were asking them to go back from the barricades when a male constable tried to kick my abdomen and groped me. Female constables were pinching us. Many of us have scratches on our arms. The police tried to suffocate and harass us. I started puking after they punched me in the abdomen.”

Syed Marghoob Zaidi, public relations officer at Al-Shifa, said, “A total of 32 injured persons were brought in to Al Shifa. They have injuries to the abdomen and blunt injuries to the private parts, and scratches.”

Suyash Tripathi, a fifth-year law student and JCC member, was among the injured. “I was trying to save the other students when I started feeling dizzy. When I fell on the barricades, they shoved the lathis from inside the barricades and I was hit in the stomach.” Several on the spot fell unconscious and were treated at Jamia’s health centre, eyewitnesses said.

The students who were detained said they were assaulted by the police. “We were beaten and threatened inside the bus for about an hour and made to sit on the floor so that people could not see us. Apart from kicks and punches, our hands were also twisted and held from behind. It was humiliating,” said Shaheen Abdulla, a postgraduate student who was detained.

Police registered a case in the matter. “The Delhi Police, especially the South East District, showed a lot of patience in handling the aggressive Jamia Students near Holy Family Hospital where they were forcing their way through the police barricades and trying to march to Parliament without permission. A case is being registered against the violent crowd under relevant provisions of law,” Delhi police spokesperson, Anil Mittal, said.


    Kainat Sarfaraz covers education for Hindustan Times in Delhi. She also takes keen interest in reading and writing on the intersections of gender and other identities.

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