Students resent police watch on those protesting

A girl holds a placard as she attends a protest against a new citizenship law, outside the Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi. (Reuters Photo)

Students on Wednesday resented the action of police and intelligence agencies for the watch on those participating in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

This came after a section of media reported that Uttar Pradesh police has created a watch list for the anti-CAA and NRC protests on its official Twitter handle.

“Many of our friends who have returned to their home in Uttar Pradesh following police brutality on the campus are scared of posting their views on social media. We have the right to express our dissent and hold protest against anti-people decisions taken by the government. The move is to muzzle our democratic voice,” a student of the Jamia Millia Islamia University said, requesting anonymity.

Students also condemned the Delhi police after a video clip showing a police team asking the outstation students, living in paying guest accommodations here in Mukherjee Nagar, to go back to their home on “winter vacation”, threatening them of dire consequences if any of them were found participating in any protest.

Soon after the video clip surfaced on the social media, however, Delhi police declared it fake and registered a case in this connection. Police also dismissed as “fake” a letter allegedly issued to the owners of paying guest accommodations in the locality directing them to shut down the facilities till January 2.

Condemning the Delhi police action, the National Students Union Of India (NSUI) said, “They have the right to study and to raise their voice against the government for their rights.”

Meanwhile, students claimed that the Nirma University's Institute of Law in Ahmedabad has approached the parents of those who had recently participated in a protest against the CAA and NRC, saying that they may figure in the police records if they continue to participate in the protests.

The institute, allegedly in a message to the parents, has also conveyed to them that police and intelligence bureau have collected details of their wards

“Students were forced to give undertakings that they will refrain from participating in any such activities in future. We strongly condemn this attempt to suppress the voices of students,” the National Young India Coordination Committee (NYICC), recently formed by over 60 students-and Youth organisations, said in a statement.

It also demands that the authorities of the institute must “retract” the messages that they sent to the students and parents and stop “intimidating students.”

“Utterly shameful. Now, we know why Modi government wants to privatise universities,” Young Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani tweeted, reacting to the institute's action.

Last month, students claimed, officials of the Uttar Pradesh police along with intelligence sleuths had approached parents of JNU Students Union general secretary Satish Chandra, enquiring about him, during students massive protest against the university administration in Delhi against hostel fee hike. This had drawn strong criticism from the JNU Students Union.

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