BJP hai hai: Jamia protests against Citizenship Act

Last Updated 14 December 2019, 06:46 IST

The Jamia Millia Islamia University turned into a battlefield on Friday after police and students, who wanted to march to Parliament House to protest the amended Citizenship Act, clashed with each other prompting the local AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan to reach the spot to take stock of the situation.

Forty-two students were detained following a clash between police and students after the protestors were stopped at the varsity gate and prevented from carrying out their march.

Police said they had to resort to using of tear gas as the protesters broke barricades and indulged in stone pelting.

The students, who were baton-charged by police personnel, alleged that the police also used tear gas to quell their march. Some students also pelted stones from inside the university, prompting police to enter the varsity and baton-charge them.

However, the protestors alleged that police pelted stones first and they threw stones in response.

The protesters, numbering around 1,000, started their march from gate number 7 of the varsity towards Sukhdev Vihar metro station, raising slogans like 'NHRC Haaye Haaye', 'CAB wapis lo', 'BJP hai hai' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'.

The students also carried a blackened effigy of Home Minister Amit Shah and banners of 'Save Constitution', 'CAB will kill India'.

Police had placed barricades near gate number 1 of the varsity and the students climbed over the barricades and tried to march ahead. However, they were stopped by police.

While the student retreated for some distance, they returned, and stones flew towards the police personnel from both sides of the road and even from inside the gates of the varsity.

As the protests turned violent, police also used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Videos circulated by students on social media showed police caning the protestors.

The police had cordoned off the road and protestors were seen climbing onto barricades. Many of the university's gates were also closed later.

"We were marching peacefully and police stopped us from marching. First, they lathicharged us asking us to move backwards. Then they pelted stones in response to which students picked up stones too," Onaihza, a law student at Jamia, said.

Another student alleged that police resorted to pelting stones and then used tear gas that resulted in many students being injured.

Police, however, denied the allegations.

"Students started their march. We had placed barricades which they broke and tried to jump over them. Then they threw stones at us forcing us to use teargas shells. The students have been detained and taken to Badarpur police station," a senior police officer present at the spot said.

Okhla MLA Khan rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

He said in a tweet that Home Minister "Amit Shah's police" batoncharged Jamia students and teachers taking out a peaceful rally against citizenship law. "We are at Jamia against this".

Former Congress MP Parvez Hashmi was also present on the spot and demanded that the students who were detained be released without any legal action against them. Congress MP TN Prathapan also visited the varsity campus.

The protesters dispersed late in the night but the situation remained tense with heavy police deployment.

Before the students' March, teachers and non-teaching staff organized a protest in the campus against CAB and called it 'unconstitutional'.

Waseem Ahmed, chief proctor of the varsity said the police placed barricades while the students were marching peacefully. He said many students were injured and were treated at the Jamia Health centre but around 12-13 of them, who sustained serious injuries were shifted to Holy Family Hospital.

Some students said outsiders had also joined the protest and they started pelting stones.

Abdul Hamid, who fractured his hand during the protest said, "There were several students who were injured. I was injured while trying to shield my face from the lathicharge. I was treated by Dr Kafeel Khan at the Jamia health centre but was later shifted to Holy Family hospital."

Following the Friday clash between the police and the students, the latter has called for a university lockdown and exam boycott on Saturday.

As a precautionary measure, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) closed the entry and exit points at Patel Chowk and Janpath metro stations following Delhi police's advisory.

The stations were opened an hour later.

Traffic was also affected around the area. The Traffic Police said the movement is closed on both carriageways from Jamia Millia Islamia to Sukhdev Vihar and from Mathura Road to Sarai Jullena (both carriageways).

The police said the protesters coming from Jamia were persuaded to protest peacefully near the campus, since Jantar Mantar was saturated with people, and requested to not march towards New Delhi.

However, they got agitated and aggressively confronted the police personnel, police said. They broke barricades and indulged in stone pelting at police personnel which also caused damage to parked vehicles, they added.

Police had to lob teargas shells and use limited force to disperse the protesters, police said, adding 42 protesters were detained and subsequently released. In this incident, 12 police personnel were injured and two of them with relatively serious injuries are under observation in ICU, they said.

Meanwhile, Jawaharlal Nehru University students also held a protest against CAB inside the campus. On Thursday, DU students had also organised a protest in the campus against CAB.

(Published 14 December 2019, 06:46 IST)

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