The Congress and Left parties on Monday condemned the alleged police brutality against university students in Delhi and demanded a judicial inquiry into violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University. The Congress also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims that their party was fuelling protests against the amendments to the Citizenship Act and called it baseless, PTI reported.
“Had Congress been capable of inciting such violence, you wouldn’t have been in power,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said while addressing a press conference in Delhi. “It’s a baseless allegation. I condemn it.”
Azad was joined by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury and Communist Party of India’s D Raja, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha, Sharad Yadav, and Javed Ali Khan of the Samajwadi Party at a joint press conference in Delhi.
Azad blamed the Narendra Modi-led government and said had they not brought in such a law, the violence and protests could have been avoided. “It is the Central government which is solely responsible for the violence in the country for bringing a law which is being opposed all over the country and by all Opposition political parties.”
“There are protests everywhere be it West Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh,” he added. “The people are not ready to accept this.”
Azad asked how the Delhi Police had entered Jamia Millia Islamia University when they were not given permission by the administration. “How could police enter library and toilets in Jamia as students were screaming for help,” he said, referring to the police crackdown on Sunday.
He reiterated the party’s demand for a judicial investigation into the police’s actions.
D Raja held Union Home Minister Amit Shah responsible for the police’s actions, PTI reported. “There is a civil war-like situation in the country for which Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the prime minister should be held responsible,” Raja added. “What is the response of the home minister, where is he?”
Raja said that the Left parties will hold a countrywide protest on December 19 and asked all secular and democratic forces to join them.
On Sunday, Modi had accused the Congress and their allies of inciting protests. “They are doing arson because they did not get their way. Those who are creating violence can be identified by their clothes itself,” he had claimed in Jharkhand.
Earlier on Monday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra called the government “coward” and warned that the voice of the youth cannot be suppressed. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi supported the student’s protests and called the amended Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens “weapons of mass polarisation unleashed by fascists”.
The violence broke out on Sunday evening after a protest march by Jamia students ended in a pitched battle with the police. Buses were set on fire, and several students and police officers were injured. The police have been accused of using excessive force and even assaulting students.
On Monday, several Delhi University students were reportedly beaten by the police and detained.
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