LUCKNOW: Around two dozen students were arrested by police on Sunday night for violent protests against on AMU campus. Nearly 60 students were injured during the clashes and four were still under observation at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh on Monday.
Meanwhile, the palm of one of the protestors had to be amputated by doctors on Sunday night after a tear gas shell, fired by the police, burst in his hands. He is a research scholar in the Chemistry department.
The AMU campus, in the meantime, was sealed and heavy patrolling was underway, university officials said on Monday. As per the university sources, peaceful democratic protests were going on against the CAA on the campus for the last four days.
"However Sunday evening witnessed an atmosphere of unrest following the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia," said AMU PRO Professor Shafey Kidwai.
"As tempers ran high, a group of lumpen elements, yet to be identified, started instigating the protesters. This precipitated the situation which threatened to go out of control and could have led to loss of precious lives of innocent students," Kidwai said, adding that under such circumstances, the university declared a winter vacation from December 16 to January 5.
“Students were agitated by the reports of police action on protestors of Jamia Milia University and thus they moved out of AMU gate, but police lathi-charged us, injuring many students, including former students’ union president M Salman Imtiaz,” said Hamza Sufiyan, former vice-president of AMU Students’ Union.
According to sources, around 7.30 pm, social messages circulated throughout the campus calling for a general body meeting of students at the university library.
One of the protestors claimed that the messages were not sent by leaders of the students' union but by some unidentified sources. He added that at the library, students decided to hold a protest near Bab-e-Sayed gate inside the campus.
"Some unidentified elements with covered faces or wearing masks tried to instigate the students by raising emotive slogans and urged them to move to the gate in large numbers. Shortly after, a clash broke out and police entered the campus," he said.
However one of the hostellers claimed that a group of cops entered the hostel after beating up the security guard, lobbed teargas shell by breaking the windowpane of room no 46 which was engulfed in smoke.
"My brother and three others who were present had to flee and were then picked up by the police, thrashed and taken away," he said and urged the university authorities to trace their whereabouts. AMU Registrar Abdul Hameed said the university was in touch with the district authorities to trace the students reportedly picked up for questioning.
A day after a police crackdown on AMU students following violent protests, over 25,000 people gathered at Shah Jamal in Aligarh to oppose the police action on the campus on Sunday night. Speaking to TNIE, Amir Mantoee, a former student leader claimed that after Sunday clashes, panic had gripped the entire city.
“University administration was in touch with police and district administration to normalise the situation. A group of former students leaders including three vice presidents, one general secretary and a court member were reaching out to people in old city areas to pacify them and convince them to lodge peaceful protests if they wanted to show their resentment to CAA,” said Mantoee.
He added that people in the old city areas were agitated over the treatment meted out to students on Sunday evening by the police.
Meanwhile, the campus was turned into a police camp with the deployment of forces in and around the campus which was vacated completely by Monday evening.
As per AMU Proctor Afifullah Khan, no student would be allowed to remain in the hostels as strict orders were issued to vacate all hostels completely.
Amid confabulation with senior police officials including IG Agra range A Satish Ganesh and the AMU administration, special arrangements were made to evacuate the students from the hostels and about 40 buses were plied to ferry them to their home towns in the western districts.
Arrangements were also made for all long-distance trains travelling to the eastern and north-eastern states of the country, with no stoppage in Aligarh, to halt here to enable students of these areas to leave for their homes, the officials said.