'The police even got into the washrooms': Anger and defiance to the fore at Jamia

The scars the previous night had left were still raw for the students who have stayed back and the teachers. Some of the female faculty members were seen guarding a few of the gates.

Published: 16th December 2019 04:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2019 09:06 AM   |  A+A-

Defiant Jamia students a day after police charged into their campus

Defiant Jamia students a day after police charged into their campus | Shekhar Yadav, EPS

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The morning after the police entered the Jamia Millia Islamia to quell the Citizenship Amendment Act protests, completely empty buildings greeted journalists. Many students had left the hostels and some were found sitting outside with their luggage. 

"Our exam was going to finish on December 18 and we booked our tickets after the 20th but yesterday we were forced to run from hostels. I am on the road with my luggage to protest because we feel unsafe inside the campus," said Mudasir Nazar, a student who belongs to Kishangarh, Bihar. 

The scars the previous night had left were still raw for the students who have stayed back and the teachers. Some of the female faculty members were seen guarding a few of the gates themselves. 

"Many of my friends are injured, many students are lying unconscious inside the hostel... They are in trauma as the police beat them mercilessly. They called them terrorists. We are trying to take care of them but the situation is grim," Ikrama Hasan, a student of Geography honours, said. 

Two other students Arbaaz Ahmen and Nadeem also sounded traumatised.

"We were studying in the library. Suddenly police started firing tear gas. The girls were all alone and helpless. I have never witnessed this in this campus. Our families asking us to return. Somehow, I am safe, but my bag lies in the library," Arbaaz, a diploma student, said. 

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Nadeem said the security guards had asked them to leave as tear gas would cause trouble. 

"We were not able to breathe. Some female students were pleading with the police asking them to avoid hitting the boys but the policemen would have none of it. They said they are not dead so let us beat them. They even got into the washrooms and beat the ones they could lay their hands on," narrated Nadeem, a Political Science student. 

Jamia alumni were also seen coming forward in a show of solidarity amidst anti-police, anti-government slogans like "Delhi police Muradabad" ( down with Delhi Police), "Amit Shah hi hi , Narendra Modi hi hi" (Amit Shah down down, Narendra Modi down down), "Roll back CA" and "Jo hitler ki chaal chalayega woh hitler ki mout marega" (Whoever will conspire like Hitler, will die like Hitler) that were reverberating across the campus. 
"I have come to show solidarity. They were all innocent. This is aggression against the students. Students inside the library were not part of the protest, but even they were not spared. Police forcefully barged in there and attacked them with tear gas," said Nihal Khan, an alumni. 

Jamia Millia Islamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar said she had told the administration to help those students who wanted to go home to "forget this trauma." 

In a media interaction on Monday afternoon, she said the police action on Sunday had caused "emotional and property loss" to her university. She said the university is going to a lodge an FIR against the forceful entry of police inside the campus and cite the damages incurred by the university.

"We will lodge an FIR.. we cannot say against whom the FIR would be lodged at this moment as an enquiry would be needed to get clarity first. Unless one knows who the enemy is, it is not possible to identify," she said. 

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The Vice Chancellor also said her college will approach the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and demand a high-level enquiry or a judicial probe into the incident. 

She said the total number of injured students was around 200. The extent of damages suffered by the university is going to be assessed, she added. 

The university administration underlined that the crowd on Sunday evening was unregulated and police did not draw a distinction between students and the outsiders. 


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