Students of various universities across New Delhi and other citizens from the national capital region gathered in large numbers on Sunday night in front of the Delhi Police headquarters at ITO. They were protesting against police action on the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia University earlier on Sunday, which reportedly led to several students being injured.
Mass mobilisation began on social media after reports of police firing tear gas shells and baton-charging the students inside the campus of Jamia University began surfacing on Sunday evening. Many visuals suggested that the police had stormed the university campus.
At 9 pm, people began gathering outside the Delhi Police Headquarters situated on Indraprastha Marg. The police placed barricades at the entry of the building and on the road to stop people from gathering, and was equipped with tear gas canisters.
Students at the protest called the police action in Jamia University campus “anti-Muslim, Islamophobic”.
“They are targeting Muslim students. As citizens, we have every right to protest and this (the police action) is not expected in a democracy. Universities are turning into war zones,” Geeta Thatra, a 32-year-old PhD student from Jawaharlal Nehru University told Scroll.in.
Protestors also questioned the alleged vandalisation inside Jamia University by the Delhi Police. “What was the use of breaking library windows and attacking the mosque?” asked Sana Chaudhary, a 23-year-old student from JNU.
Several stations of the Delhi Metro were shut to prevent people from reaching the headquarters building. Metro stations near JNU and the Delhi University were also shut after calls to join the protest in solidarity with the students of Jamia University were issued.
A few protesters climbed on top the barricades placed at the entry of the Delhi Police headquarters and held up framed photos of Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar. By 11 pm, the protest had spread to both sides of the road facing the police headquarters.