'Human rights violations' at AMU, claim activists

Last Updated 24 December 2019, 13:34 IST

A report prepared by a group of activists looking into the violence that broke out at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has alleged that the Uttar Pradesh police and others had indulged in "unbridled human rights violations".

Releasing the report titled 'The Siege of AMU' at a media conference here on Tuesday, former IAS officer and columnist Harsh Mander said the students' testimonies to the team had revealed that the AMU administration, district authorities and the UP government had failed in their duty to protect the campus and its residents against the UP police's "brutality".

Police used "stun grenades" against the "peacefully" protesting students which are normally used only against terrorists and dangerous criminals, Mander said.

The UP government, however, has maintained that there were no police excesses while handling the violence at AMU and the personnel only did their lawful duty.

The report has claimed that when the violence was being let loose, even ambulances, which rushed to move the injured students to hospitals, were attacked by the cops and the drivers and paramedical staff were attacked and manhandled and asked to stay away from the injured students.

Social activist and author Natasha Badhwar, who was part of the team, said the students have claimed that police uttered "Jai Shri Ram" while attacking them and were totally "anti-Muslim" in their behaviour.

The AMU administration also invited the police forces and their weapons into the campus, said Mander, who led the 13-member 'fact finding' team of social activists.

"Apart from the breach of the discursive and educational space of the university, there were also unbridled human rights violations committed in AMU", Mander alleged.

Nearly 100 students were injured, 20 of them critically, during the state police's crackdown at protesting students at the University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, on December 15.

The police violence left many students with broken bones, grave injuries, deep bruises and severe psychological trauma. Some students had brain haemorrhage and at least one student had his hand amputated.

The report claimed that the violence was "largely unprovoked by police", more "brutal than even in Jamia Millia Islamia" (in Delhi) and in any university in recent memory.

The report claimed that the AMU administration had "unconscionably abandoned its students and threw them to a hostile and pitiless state".

The others who were part of the team were social activists Nandini Sundar, John Dayal, Vimal, Ankita Ramgopal, Sumit Kumar Gupta, Ishita Mehta, Varda Dixit, Varna Balakrishnan, Syed Mohammed Zaheer, Anwar Haque and Sandeep Yadav.

(Published 24 December 2019, 13:21 IST)

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