From Lucknow to Hyderabad, Jamia protests unite students: 10 points

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Aug 07, 2020 03:42 PM IST

The Jamia students and Delhi Police clashed during a demonstration on Sunday, which triggered a chanin reaction.

A protest that started from Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi against the new citizenship law has spread to other cities and campuses. The students of Jamia university and Delhi Police clashed during a demonstration on Sunday, which triggered a chain reaction and more and more students - from Uttar Pradesh to Hyderabad and beyond - are raising their voices in solidarity with the Jamia students. A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court, alleging police excess, and the case will be heard on Tuesday.

Students protest shirtless at Jamia university campus against Delhi Police's action on their colleagues on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
Students protest shirtless at Jamia university campus against Delhi Police's action on their colleagues on Sunday.(PTI Photo)

Here are the latest developments in this story:

1. Student bodies in various universities have come out in support of Jamia students. Students of Political Science and History departments at the Delhi University boycotted their semester exam on Monday. They have been on protest since morning, forming a human chain. The protesters said they will gather at India Gate on Monday evening.

2. The Allahabad University administration postponed all semester examinations scheduled for the day and suspended all classes announcing closure of the central varsity for a day on Monday.

Also Watch l Citizenship Act: Students from DU, TISS & other colleges join protest 

3. The first to join the movement against the violence in Jamia were students from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who clashed with the police on Sunday night. After the protest, the administration announced closure of the university till January 5; it also asked the students to evacuate the hostels. The students of Nadwa college in Lucknow also came out in support of Jamia students. They raised slogans and, according to police, pelted stones too while protesting. But the situation is normal now.

4. 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”. Students from the Tata Insitute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai also protested on the streets shouting slogans such as “Shame on Delhi Police”. In Chennai, students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras called for a protest. Hundreds of students of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) on Monday boycotted their semester examinations and staged a demonstration in solidarity with Jamia students.

5. Noted lawyer Indira Jaising pleaded Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde to take suo motu cognizance of the violence in Delhi, calling it a “very serious human rights violation”. The CJI, however, said he will hear the petitions on the police action against student groups only when the violence stops. “Just because they happen to be students, it doesn’t mean they can take law and order in their hands, this has to be decided when things cool down. This is not the frame of mind when we can decide anything,” the bench headed by CJI said. The court is expected to hear the matter on Tuesday.

6. At ground zero of the student movement, a group of Jamia students stood shirtless in the bone-chilling cold of Monday morning to protest the action against their colleagues yesterday.

7. On Sunday, the demonstration against the amended citizenship act took a violent turn after Jamia students attempted to march towards arterial south Delhi roads and were stopped by cops. Police had to resort to lathi-charge and tear gas shells after the students started pelting stones and smashed car windows and other vehicles. At least four DTC buses and two police vehicles were also torched by them, police said.

8. Following the clashes, police entered the university campus and several students were detained. While 35 were detained at Kalkaji Police Station, 15 were at the New Friends Colony police station (both in south Delhi) near the varsity. These 50 students were released around 3.30am on Monday.

9. The students said the police detained these students by force. “We got inside the reading hall and switched off the lights so that they wouldn’t see us. But police broke open the doors, barged in and brutally beat up students before dragging them out,” said 19-year-old Rumsha. “We were asked to vacate the campus and come out with our hands up... we were treated like criminals by police,” said another female student on condition of anonymity.

10. Jamia university vice-chancellor said she is deeply hurt by the way students were treated by the police and backed them. “I want to let my students know that they are not alone in this difficult fight. I and the entire community of Jamia are with them,” vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar said in a video released by the university. At a press conference on Monday, the vice-chancellor said the university administration will file an FIR against the entry of police in the campus. “You can rebuild the property but you cannot compensate for the things the students went through. We demand a high level inquiry,” said Akhtar.

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