The Aligarh Muslim University campus will be evacuated on Monday, Uttar Pradesh police chief OP Singh told NDTV. “We will send all students home,” said the director general of police. This came a day after at least 60 students were injured in clashes with the police.
Around 15 students have been arrested, said Singh. “We will identify and act against everyone who indulged in violence. Internet services have been shut down in Aligarh for a period of 24 hours, reported The News Minute.
The students have been peacefully protesting against the amended Citizenship Act since December 8. However, around 8.30 pm on Sunday, the students came out of the Sir Syed gate in solidarity with the Jamia Millia University students who had faced brutal police crackdown earlier in the day.
The police fired tear gas shells and managed to disperse the students initially. “But they returned with salt and buckets to quell the threat of tear gas shells,” an unidentified student told The Hindu. “After that the police entered the campus, and lathi charged the students and broke their vehicles. They entered the Sir Syed Hall (North) and Morisson Hall and beat up the students.”
University Registrar Abdul Hamid said the police entered the campus and clashes were reported from inside. “About 60 students are being treated at Nehru Medical College Hospital and most of them are with trauma and eye injuries caused by tear gas,” Chief Medical Officer Dr Nisar Ahmad told PTI. Ten policemen also suffered injuries.
However, the police said they were authorised by the university vice chancellor to use force. “But [we] remained spectators till things got out of hand,” Singh said. He also denied that the police entered hostels or vandalised university property. “We have received no reports of any vandalism by the police,” said Singh. “We acted with utmost restraint and never ever entered any hostel.”
After the protest, the administration announced closure of the university till January 5. University spokesperson, Professor Shafey Kidwai, said the authorities were in touch with the district administration to evacuate the hostels. “It has been a sudden development and students have nowhere to go,” said Kidwai. “We are chalking out a plan.” The examination schedule will be notified later, said AMU Proctor Afifullah Khan.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath urged the people of the state to maintain peace and harmony. “People should not pay attention to the rumours about Citizenship Amendment Act being spread by some vested interests,” he said, according to PTI.
Additional Director General, Agra zone, Ajay Anand said the situation was under control. Whatever steps are needed to maintain peace will be taken, he added.