NEW DELHI: A group of students from Jamia Millia Islamia on Friday claimed they had to cut short their field trip to Haryana's Panipat district after some villagers asked them to "leave or face the consequences".
Panipat's Superintendent of Police Sumit Kumar, however, denied any such incident and said the students did not complain about anything during their stay in the district.
One of the students, part of the 43-member group from Jamia's Social Work Department, said the incident happened on Tuesday when they were attending a 10-day rural camp in Patti Kalyana, Haldana and Garhi Tyagyan villages.
"The rural camp started on the morning of December 15, the day violence erupted near Jamia Millia Islamia (against the new citizenship law).
Two teachers and two non-teaching staff accompanied us on the trip," said the student, who did not wish to be identified.
Another student said the group stayed at the Gandhi Ashram near Patti Kalyana village.
"We were to carry out awareness drives in the villages as part of the rural camp. The 43 students were divided into three sub-groups, each for a village. On the third day, we went to Patti Kalyana, where we visited a primary school and an anganwadi centre and talked to villagers," he said.
"When we were coming out of the village to have lunch, a group of men at a shop started questioning us. When we told them we are from Jamia, they became aggressive," he claimed.
A third student, who corroborated the incident, recalled one of the men saying "I think you (the students) have done something wrong in Delhi and now, you are hiding here (in the ashram)".
The men allegedly told them that many in the village were "angry over what the students of Jamia have done in Delhi".
"When we tried to make them understand, the men started abusing us. One of the men then started calling other people. He threatened us to leave or face the consequences," the student said.
The students said they started shivering as more people gathered around them and to avoid a confrontation, they started walking away.
They claimed some villagers came to the ashram the next day and inquired about them.
"Soon after, police told us to return to Delhi," the third student claimed, adding the group came back to Delhi on Thursday morning.
Dr Rashmi Jain, who accompanied the students to the camp, clarified on Saturday that she has not confirmed the incident as reported earlier by PTI.
Jain is an assistant professor in the Social Work Department of the university.
SSP Kumar added that the students never told police about any such incident and the administration wanted them to leave only after completing their camp.
"The situation is peaceful in Panipat," he said.