Nearly 100 students of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, who had been detained at Kalkaji Police station after a protest march against the citizenship law on Sunday evening, were released around 3.30 am on Monday, reported NDTV. Students, mostly from the Jawaharlal Nehru University who had gathered outside the Delhi Police headquarters at ITO to protest against the police action, dispersed only after the Jamia students were released.
The protest march had started from the Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday evening and was expected to end at Jantar Mantar. But violence started soon after. The mob clashed with the police, and buses were set on fire. Several students and policemen, including senior officers, were injured. One of the police officers is in the Intensive Care Unit with head injuries, reported NDTV.
Later in the evening, the police detained around 100 students. “The police have entered the campus by force, no permission was given,” said university Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmed. “Our staff and students are being beaten up and forced to leave the campus.”
The vice chancellor also backed the students. “I am hurt by the way my students were treated,” Jamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar said. “I want to let my students know that they are not alone in this fight. I am with them. I will take this matter forward as long its possible.
Some women students left the hostel on Monday morning as they felt unsafe, according to NDTV.
Senior police officer Chinmaya Biswal claimed that the police entered the university only after the mob went inside and started pelting stones. “We were checking from where these violent activities were taking place,” he said. The Delhi Police alleged that some people in the mob came prepared for arson and torched vehicles. “When police pushed protestors back, they resorted to arson and torched two bikes, four DTC buses on Mata Mandir Marg,” Biswal told PTI.
Students of Jamia Millia Islamia University dissociated themselves from the violence in a statement. “We have time and again maintained that our protests are peaceful and non-violent,” they said. “We stand by this approach and condemn any party involved in the violence.” Vice Chancellor Aktar also said that some members of the public “from the main road that divides the university campus into two may have joined the protest”.
Metro services were hit following the violence. Five stations on the city’s Magenta Line were closed down. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation opened the entry and exit gates at all these stations on Monday morning. Road traffic was also diverted from the area. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia declared that all schools in Jamia, Okhla, New Friends Colony and Madanpur Khadar areas will remain closed on Monday.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condemned the violence. “Spoke to Hon’ble LG and urged him to take all steps to restore normalcy and peace,” he tweeted. “We are also doing everything possible at our end. Real miscreants who caused violence shud be identified and punished.”
Meanwhile, protests swept campuses across the country against the brutal police crackdown on the Jamia campus. The fracas was sparked off by widespread protests against the Citizenship Act amendment passed by Parliament last week.
After Jamia, students at the Aligarh Muslim University clashed with the police after their solidarity march was stopped. By midnight, Hyderabad’s Maulana Azad Urdu University, Kolkata Jadavpur University and the Banaras Hindu University too protested.
In Bihar, where the ruling Janata Dal (United) and Bharatiya Janata Party coalition had both supported the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, protests by Patna University students saw clashes with the police.
The students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai took out a candle light march singing the Raj-era Urdu poem “Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna” written by Bismil Azimabad.