One Jamia library reopens 3 month damage during anti-CAA stir
Nearly three months after two libraries of Jamia Millia Islamia were damaged in alleged police crackdown, Zakir Husain Central Library was reopened for students on Wednesday. The two libraries – one old and another constructed a decade ago – are located about 100 metres from each other.
“While the new library’s books’ issue-deposit section and reading halls have been opened for students from today (Wednesday), the old library remains closed,” said Jamia’s media coordinator Ahmad Azeem. “The damages in the old library are far more extensive than the new one. We’re hoping to start before the even semester exams.”
On December 15, protests over Citizenship Amendment Act took a violent turn after public property was damaged in the clashes between protesters and police in New Friends Colony near Jamia Millia Islamia. Police said they entered the university campus to nab those involved in the violence. The damages ranged from broken chairs and desks to shattered glass doors, windows, tubelight and CCTV cameras. Shortly after the incident, university officials said the varsity property worth around Rs 2.66 crore was damaged and a report had been submitted in this regard to Union HRD ministry.
Officials said the library witnessed a huge footfall after its doors were opened on Wednesday afternoon. “Our reading hall capacity is at around 600 and it was filled within minutes. All normal functioning, including issuing of books and accessing the digital resource centre resumed today,” said a library official.
While several students were glad that the library was functional again, many were still hesitant to go back. Ishita Das, a postgraduate student, was among those who was stuck in the library on December 15 and had to be rescued by university personnel after multiple SOS messages.
“I had visited the library once after it was damaged and it triggered anxiety. I just don’t have the heart to go back after what happened. Some of my friends did visit today but it will take some time for me to go back there,” she said.