On 15th December, Delhi Police was seen open firing at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students protesting against the CAA.
This came after the JMI students were accused of setting four buses on fire as a means of protest. However, in a statement, the Jamia Students and Alumni Association clarified that the violent protests were organized by the people living in the area. “The university has already declared winter vacation and postponed semester examination after 13 December incident. A large number of students staying in hostels have already left and the Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar appealed to the students to maintain peace,” said the association.
The police open fired from the JMI University gate at the unarmed students inside. Videos also surfaced where the Delhi Police could be seen firing and lathi charging at the protesters near the New Friends Colony.
The police then entered the campus forcefully and trashed the library and the mosque with tear gas attacks.
Waseem Ahmad Khan the Chief Proctor of Jamia Milia Islamia University said in his statement, “Police have entered the campus by force, no permission was given. Our staff and students are being beaten up and forced to leave the campus.”
“The police entered the campus and was violent towards the students. They attacked us with tear gas and the students had to hide inside the library campus… some of the students have hurt their heads and other body parts. There is no medical facility currently available here” said Saimon Farooqi, National Secretary of NSUI.
In another video recording, a student could be heard saying; “reading hall mein ghuske sheeshe todd ke tear gas chodd rahe hain. Hum sab log lights off karke chhupe huye hain yaha pe (they are deploying tear gas after breaking the windows in the reading hall. We are all hiding after shutting off the lights) ”
Videos of police brutality surfaced online where students were seen unconscious amidst the rubble in the aftermath. In a video, students could be seen hiding and blocking the room from the Policemen outside. In another video, a man named Mohammad Taneem, admitted in Holy Family Hospital, could be seen with a bullet wound on his leg. It has been speculated that Shakir, a student of JMI, also passed away due to the attack with rumors of two other unconfirmed deaths also circulating.
The students were then given a window of an hour to leave the campus safely.
The Delhi Police, however, said that the situation is under control at Jamia university. “It was a violent mob, some of them were detained.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) Chinmoy Biswal said to PTI, “four buses and two police vehicles were torched during the protest, adding six policemen were also injured. Stones were pelted from inside the varsity at police personnel, forcing them to use teargas to disperse the violent mob.”
Saurav Ghosh, General Secretary of All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), issued the following statement, “the AIDSO in strongest words condemn the firing on protesting students in Jamia Milia Islamia today. The students of JMI have time and again declared that they are resolved to continue the protest peacefully. In spite of that, on the pretext of violence by some fringe elements, which need a thorough interrogation, the police started firing bullets on the peaceful protestors of JMI, resulting in many casualties. Many of them got bullet injuries and were admitted to the hospital… We uphold the rights of the student’s community for their democratic protest against the communally biased Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is being opposed nationwide and warn the police administration as well as the central government to immediately stop exercising these brutal and deadly attacks.”
Statements from JNUSU, JNUTA and other student groups came out in support of JMI appealing students to come to protest in front of the Delhi Police Headquarters in ITO. They then marched towards ITO chanting the slogan, “Delhi police, Jamia Choddo”. The march was also attended by various activists and several MPs. DU North Campus students also came out to protest in support of JMI students at Vishwavidhalaya Metro Station.
Apparently, Special Taskforce was also deployed in Jamia at around 11 pm on 15th December with a curfew all over and orders to shoot on sight.
Entry and exit gates of metro stations of IIT, GTB Nagar, Patel Chowk, Model Town, Pragati Maidan, Delhi Gate, Shivaji Stadium, RK Puram, Munirka, Vasant Vihar, Sukhdev Vihar, Jamia Millia Islamia, Okhla, and Vishwavidhalaya have also now been closed. Trains will not be halting at these stations.
Feature Image Credits: Anonymous