Police beat up my students in the library, says Jamia V-C demanding probe

Earlier on Monday, Najma Akhtar shared a video message, in which she told her students they are not alone in these 'difficult times'.
Vice-chancellor of Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia university Najma Akhtar. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)
Vice-chancellor of Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia university Najma Akhtar. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

NEW DELHI: Seeking a high-level inquiry into police entering the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday evening, its vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar on Monday said that the incident had left a deep impact on the students.

She was particularly agitated with the security personnel barging in the library and beating the students inside the university complex.

She said that ‘it’ (police action) was not accepted at all and the administration would request the union human resource minister to set up an inquiry.

“I wanted to know whether this is going to be the norm; police intruding the campus without permission. I am particularly mentioning the police beating the students in the library. Students who were reading were charged," she said.

Akhtar said she had talked to the secretary of the ministry and the minister on the matter. 

"We demand a high-level inquiry into the matter. There were costly equipments, which have been damaged. It will be difficult to procure them again,” she said while addressing a press conference on Monday a day after violence held around the university area.

The VC said people should not defame the university by blaming its students being violent.

“Be cautious while reporting about the Jamia. I appeal to the people that the university shouldn't be defamed. It is very reputed university, which was part of the national freedom movement. It is a very safe and peaceful complex. People should not slander it,” Akhtar said.

WATCH VIDEO| Situation tense in Jamia Millia Islamia, protests continue against police violence

Senior university officials were also present at the press conference.

Akhtar also denied the death of university students during violence or police action on Sunday.

“Several students were injured in the incident and many were detained. The university officials were working the whole night to help them out. All of them have been released. They were about 200," she said.

The university also demanded that a road - Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Marg - cutting through the campus should also be handed over to the administration for the safety and security of the students.

“The road is used by people living in the vicinity. There is varied pollution, which is increasing. We demand that this road should be given to the university. There should be a separate bypass for others. This issue had also come up when the Metro corridor was planned,” she said adding that the university had also filed an FIR into the matter.

She said the name of the nearby locality - Jamia Nagar - created a lot of misconceptions about the university.

“Whenever any incident took place in the area, it is attributed to the university. There were some children but they were not of the Jamia University. The campus should not be blamed,” Akhtar said.

Meanwhile, university students started vacating hostels in the morning and held a demonstration outside the university. 

'Police entering the campus without any prior permission, lathi charging the students who were sitting in the library is not acceptable...' she said in her message.

Condemning the police action, Najma Akhtar said that the students who were inside the library have been moved out and they are safe now.

'I will raise this issue as much as I can and also take this matter forward as long it's possible. You are not alone and don't be disheartened,'  Najma Akhtar assured her students who have started vacating their hostel fearing more violent clashes. 

ALSO READ | Citizenship Act stir: SC to hear pleas alleging police atrocities on AMU, Jamia students 

Jamia University had turned into a battlefield on Sunday evening after police entered the campus and used force following a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

According to students, the police used batons and teargas to contain violence. Almost 100 students were detained by the Police around 10 pm from Jamia but were later released around 3.30 am on Monday morning.

The protest was being held against the contentious Citizenship Act which seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims religious minorities from three neighbouring countries who arrived in India to escape religious persecution.

Protests against CAA 2019 have swept across Indian universities with AMU, Hyderabad University and other student bodies raising their voice.

(With agency inputs)

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