Students speak 'mann ki baat' on Jamia, Citizenship Act

Students speak 'mann ki baat' on Jamia, Citizenship Act

Various organisations took out a protest against the Citizenship Act in Mysuru on Monday. DH Photo

The police crackdown on Jamia Millia University in Delhi reverberated across several campuses on Monday, as thousands hit the streets to express solidarity with Jamia students whose Sunday protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent.

The campus remained tense on Monday. As many as 50 detained students were released even as Jamia students stood shirtless in the bone-chilling morning cold to protest at the police action which turned the campus into a battlefield.

Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident, saying police personnel entered the campus without permission and beat up innocent students. The Delhi Police, who have registered two cases in connection with the violence, said they will investigate and justified its action as “most restrained”. 

On Monday, students across the country spoke in one voice against police action and the contentious Citizenship Act, taking out marches, sitting on dharnas and shouting slogans.

In Delhi, scores of students from different universities came together at India Gate to demonstrate. In Delhi University, a scuffle broke out amid sloganeering by a group of students against the CAA in the morning. Many students chose to boycott exams and held a protest outside the Arts Faculty in North Campus.

Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Management. Jadavpur University in West Bengal, Lucknow University, Nadwa College and Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh, Maulana Azad Urdu University in Hyderabad, IIT-Madras and Loyola College in Chennai, IIT-Bombay and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, were among the institutions which protested.

In Uttar Pradesh, students held violent demonstrations in and outside varsity campuses in parts of the state. In Mau town, about 350 kilometres from Lucknow, there was widespread violence as protesters torched vehicles and clashed with the police following which shoot-at-sight orders were issued. 

In Gujarat, the police detained over two dozen activists, academicians and students who had gathered outside the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to protest against the CAA.  

Karnataka also saw protests, with students from several universities and prestigious institutes voicing their outrage against the CAA. Students of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) protested on their campuses and resolved to take out a rally on December 19.

Students and faculty members of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to trample upon the democratic rights of people. Several colleges in Bengaluru also planned to gather in front of the Town Hall in Bengaluru but the city police denied permission to students.

A similar protest took place in Mangaluru. The police had to resort to mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.

As students breathed fire, politicians too dived in.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi staged a silent sit-in at India Gate in the national capital to lend her support to the protesting students, while in Kolkata West Bengal Chief Mamata Banerjee went further, announcing that the CAA and NRC will be implemented only on her dead body.

The Congress also sought a judicial inquiry into the police action in Jamia, which made the BJP accuse the Congress of stoking the fire. The saffron party took a dig at the party, saying that Rahul and responsibility did not go hand in hand.

Amid the nationwide campus outrage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the issue, terming the protests “unfortunate and deeply distressing”.

The PM said the Act does not affect any citizen of India of any religion and appealed to people to stay away from rumour-mongering. 

 

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