Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday compared the police action against protestors at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi to the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, ANI reported.
“What happened at Jamia Millia Islamia, is like Jallianwala Bagh,” the Shiv Sena chief told reporters. “Students are like a ‘Yuva bomb’ [youth bomb]. So we request the central government to not do what they are doing with students.”
Thackeray was referring to the massacre of nearly 400 unarmed Indians assembled at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in April, 1919. The massacre was carried out by British troops under orders from General Reginald Dyer, who ordered them not to stop firing until the ammunition had been exhausted.
Violence broke out on Sunday evening outside Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi during a protest by students against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Buses were set on fire after protestors engaged in a pitched battle with the police. Several students and policemen were injured.
After the violent clashes, the police allegedly entered the campus and launched a crackdown. Later in the evening, the police detained around 100 students. They were released around 3.30 am on Monday. However, protests continued at the university even on Monday.
Protests swept campuses across the country on Monday against the brutal police crackdown at the Jamia campus.
On Tuesday, the Delhi Police told the media that the violence that broke out on Sunday was well-planned and not a spontaneous one. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Kumar Gyanesh said that an investigation was under way, and 10 people have been arrested. However, no student was among those taken into custody.
Gyanesh reiterated what the Delhi Police had said on Monday when accused of using excessive force. He said only tear gas shells were used and no bullets were fired, adding that the police used maximum restraint.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that the pleas against police action on students at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh should be referred to relevant High Courts. The top court also refused to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the police action against students.
The amended Citizenship Act, which was passed by both Houses of Parliament last week, will grant citizenship to six persecuted communities, except Muslims, from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan provided they have resided in India for six years. The cut-off date is December 31, 2014.