NEW DELHI: Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill singed Delhi on Sunday with students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, who staged a sit-in, clashing with the police and getting caned and tear-gassed leaving 200 injured in New Friends Colony area. Four Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, two police vehicles, an auto and a fire tender were set afire by miscreants. Two firemen, too, were among the injured.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal quickly condemned the violence. “The real miscreants should be identified and punished,” he said, adding, “while protests were understandable, violence was unacceptable.”
Trouble started during a protest by Jamia students but the students’ body later claimed they had nothing to do with the violence. It sought to blame it on “certain elements” who had joined in and disrupted the demonstration.
Soon after the violence, Jamia Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmed Khan claimed the Delhi Police entered the university campus forcibly without permission and beat up staff members and students. He said around 200 students had been injured in the caning. An FIR will be lodged by the university against the police personnel, he added.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) Chinmoy Biswal said the police entered the campus only to control the situation, after protesters indulged in violence. He said stones were pelted from inside the campus at police personnel, forcing them to use tear gas. Biswal said some people have been detained but did not give details.
Videos purportedly from Jamia did the rounds on social media showing tear gas smoke, injured students and a video alleging firing by the police. However, the Delhi Police denied any firing or casualties.
“The police violently attacked thousands of students. We were part of a peaceful protest. Some outsiders just joined in and started vandalising vehicles. The police then attacked the students. They barged inside the university, fired tear gas shells and detained students,” said a student who was part of the protest.
Some students were seen making frantic calls asking for help to come out safely. “I was dragged and beaten up badly. The police dragged the students from the mosque, library... we were hiding inside the washrooms and I am lying on the floor in the hostel,” Chandan Kumar, secretary of Jamia’s AISA chapter said on the mobile phone.
Jamia’s security guards tried to resist and stop the police from entering the girl’s hostel, a hosteller added. A large group of students was later paraded out of the university by the police.The Kalkaji Police station, where several students were detained, was also sealed late evening and lawyers who had come to meet the students were not allowed inside.
Though a similar agitation had erupted inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016, the scenes were nowhere close to the situation inside Jamia, where there was absolute mayhem and fear among the students.
Clashes in AMU
Hours after the Jamia violence, hundreds of AMU students clashed with the police in Aligarh. After the AMU closed the institution till January 5, the police entered the campus to flush students out of the hostels. Clashes with police were reported from within AMU
Violence in Patna
Thousands of protesters indulged in violence near the Kargil memorial intersection in central Patna. Police said half a dozen vehicles were burnt by protestors
Assam toll five
With two more protestors succumbing to their injuries in Assam, the state’s toll climbed to five