CAA protest: After IIMA, police enter Gujarat Vidyapith

CAA protest: After IIMA, police enter Gujarat Vidyapith

Protestors take part in a demonstration against CAA and NRC in New Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (PTI Photo)

After Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, the city police on Tuesday entered Mahatma Gandhi founded Gujarat Vidyapith campus to disrupt a kite-flying event organised by a group of students to mark their protest against the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The students, however, went ahead with their programme and flew kites carrying anti-CAA messages, who were joined by several activists.

About a dozen cops in three vehicles entered the campus at around 10 AM and reached the playground adjacent to hotels where the event was planned. Being a holiday, there were very few students and faculties in the campus. Students alleged that policemen started asking for their identity cards.

"We were shocked to see policemen in front of our hostel. One of them asked for my identity card. When I protested, the cops started shouting at me and said that they have all the right to come to the campus without anyone's permission," said Himanshu Sharma, a first-year student of Gandhian Philosophy at the varsity.

One of the cops, captured in the video, told the students that "We have all the rights to come inside the campus without taking anyone's permission. We are here to maintain law and order. What if violence breaks out here." Apart from students, some activists including Nirjhari Sinha, Shamshad Pathan and Nachiketa Desai also participated in the event.


Research scholar Utpal Anish, one of the organisers of the event, said, "Our senior trustees had told to do something to express our solidarity with students of Jamia and JNU who were subjected to police brutality. And, accordingly, we decided to fly kites carrying anti- CAA messages. There was nothing illegal about it as it was planned inside the varsity ground."

Despite repeated attempts, vice-chancellor Anamik Shah did not respond to phone calls. Sources said that last year, after hearing about the event, some of the officials had tried to stop the students from organising it. Gujarat Vidyapith was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1919 during the freedom struggle. it is a deemed university that has a history of accommodating dissent.  

Earlier last week, about a dozen cops had entered prestigious IIM-Ahmedabad and tried to disrupt their event. The students had planned sit-in, canvas signing, preamble reading, candlelight vigil and discussion. The students were forced to conduct these events inside a classroom instead of an open ground where they had planned.

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