Tremors of Jamia protest travel nationwide

Activists of All India Students Association (AISA) raise slogans during a protest against the Sunday's police action at Jamia Milia Islamia, on the campus of the Delhi University. PTI

Tremors of Sunday police action in Jamia University reached a number of campuses across the country on Monday with students from the deep south in Chennai and Pondicherry to Lucknow in North and Mumbai in West protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act in solidarity with their Delhi counterparts.

Faces of the nationwide protest varied from silence to slogan shouting.

While Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi through a silent sit-in lent her support to the protest against CAA and police action against protesting JMI students, West Bengal Chief Mamata Banerjee took out a march, announcing with hyperbole that CAB and NRC will be implemented only on her dead body.

With a group of Jamia students standing shirtless in the bone-chilling morning cold to protest against the police action, a loud protest march by students in Pondicherry University marked the protests against the CAA, an issue which had on Sunday midnight led to massive student protest outside Delhi police headquarters hours after cops entered JMI campus post violent protests in the locality.

On Monday, students outside Delhi spilled into the streets, seeking a probe in police entering Jamia campus without permission and lobbing tear gas.

Anti-CAA slogans also rented in campuses like Jadavpur University in West Bengal, Lucknow University, Nadwa College and Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh,  Maulana Azad Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), Loyola College, Mohammad Sathak College of Arts and Science and New College in Pondicherry.

In the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah,  Gujarat police on Monday detained over two dozen activists, academicians and students who had gathered outside Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to register protest over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).  The police said the assembly of the protesters were illegal as they didn't have permission for it.

In Delhi University too, a scuffle broke out amid slogan shouting by a group of students against the Act in the morning. Many students chose to boycott exams and held a protest outside the Arts Faculty in North Campus while Aligarh Muslim University, which saw violent protests last night, has been closed till January 5 by preponing the Winter leave by a week from Sunday.

A group of over 500 students and faculty of top educational institutions like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Indore, IIT Madras, Gujarat University and AMU  also wrote an open letter, slamming the CAA.

Notwithstanding the nationwide protests, ideological differences played out in full. While the main Opposition party Congress sought a judicial enquiry into the police action in Jamia Millia Islamia University, BJP went hammer on tongs, accusing the Congress of stoking fire over the incident and alleging that Rahul and Responsibility do not go hand in hand.

Amid the nationwide campus outrage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reassured that CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion and no Indian has anything to worry regarding this Act. He also cautioned “we cannot allow vested interest groups to divide us and create a disturbance” and asked everyone to stay away from any sort of rumour-mongering and falsehoods.

Meanwhile the Delhi police, which promised a “fair and impartial” probe into the incident has registered two cases in connection with the Sunday violence in which at least three buses were torched and a fire engine damaged by protesters and justified its action as “most restrained” even as a controversy has erupted over its entering the JMI campus without the University’s permission.

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