Students gather at Gateway of India against JNU attack

Students gather at Gateway of India against JNU attack

Students stage a protest near the Gateway of India to condemn the violence at Delhi's, Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Mumbai, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. (PTI Photo/Shashank Parade)

Hundreds of students and activists converged at the historic Gateway of India off the Arabian Sea to protest against the attack on students of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Bollywood celebrities too have come out in support of the students who are expressing solidarity towards their JNU counterparts.

Since midnight, students initiated a movement #OccupyGateway and throughout the day they were sitting around the Gateway of India and the pavements of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel.

The Left-controlled JNUSU and the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) blamed each other for the incident.

Security was beefed up along the Gateway of India, important educational institutions including the University of Mumbai’s Kalina and Fort campuses and prominent colleges of the Mumbai metropolitan region.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been briefed of the security arrangements that are in place in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra in wake of the students’ protest.

The protest began last night with a candlelight march that was also attended by JNU alumni - Umar Khalid and Kunal Kamra. Actress-activist Nandita Das too joined them.

The news of the protest spread like wildfire on social media.

Activists and student leaders also circulated a statement on social media platforms that read: "People are now gathering at #GatewayOfIndia for a continuous protest. PLEASE JOIN IN LARGE NUMBER. Take water, bed sheets, powerbanks, food and sit there! SHOW UP BOMBAY! IF NOT NOW- THEN NEVER! #OccupyGateway."

A similar protest was to be held at the Hutatma Chowk-Flora Fountain area of south Mumbai, however, there was an appeal for them to assemble at the Gateway of Indian itself.

From Twitter handle @NRCProtest, it was conveyed: “URGENT SPREAD THE WORD!! Here are the thread collating #CAAPotests & Protests in Solidarity with JNU planned for 6th JANUARY from all over INDIA & World”.

Veteran music composer and activist Vishal Dadlani congratulated the Mumbai Police in handling the situation during the recent protests but tweeted: "Hey,  @MumbaiPolice, you have been exemplary in dealing with #AntiCAA protests so far.  I've just read that a large number of Policemen is now at the #OccupyGateway protest & that protesters may be detained. Gentle reminder: Peaceful protest is our Constitutional right.”

In another tweet, he said: "Aag hai, Har taraf hai, Bujhaao, ya bujh jaao. Arre ab toh jaag jaao!? Get to the Gateway of India today, Mumbai! Show the goons and their masters that the voice of India's youth will NOT be stifled. #OccupyGateway."

Nandita Das, who joined the protests, tweeted: "At Gateway of India - spontaneous protest- peaceful and solemn- in solidarity with JNU #JNUProtests."

Joining the protest, NCP leader and Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad slammed the ruling BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and said attempts are being made to "destroy democracy in India". "JNU violence is (Amit) Shah-sponsored terrorism. The country condemns this barbaric act. It is nice to see that Modi and Shah are scared of only one thing, that's the intellect in JNU," said Awhad, a former students’ leader

Shiv Sena leader and Environment, Transport and Protocol Minister Aaditya Thackeray said that the violence and brutality faced by the students while protesting is worrisome. "Be it Jamia, JNU, students mustn't face brutal force. Let them be! These goons must face action. They must be brought to time-bound and swift justice," Aaditya, the Yuva Sena President demanded.

State Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said: "This is sheer hooliganism, they are ransacking property and harming people. I demand that the attackers should be brought to book immediately."

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