Mumbai: Hundreds of students, activists and citizens on Monday gathered at University of Mumbai’s (MU) Kalina campus to protest the police brutality in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in New Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and voice their opposition to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The participants of the protest, which was organised by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, a city-based collective of various organisations, accused that the police perpetrated unprovoked violence against the innocent students who were agitating peacefully and in a democratic manner. They demanded an independent judicial probe of this incident and punitive action against errant police personnel.
“The Police fired indiscriminately, carried out vicious attacks in campus, and committed acts of arson under full public view and the media glare. The police barged into the JMI library and beat up students indiscriminately and ruthlessly. They entered the JMI Masjid, desecrated and vandalized it and hit the students offering namaz. All this blatant violence was carried out without the permission of the University authorities. The Delhi Police then detained and took many seriously injured students to a police station where they were held without any medical care for several hours,” said Rafid Shahab from Students Islamic Organisation of India.
Hundreds of students were injured and the Jamia Masjid was desecrated, as the police entered JMI campus on Sunday. There are allegations that the police have sexually assaulted female students, burnt buses and carried out these brazen attacks on students along with rogues and anti-social elements. There are reports of similar violence and vandalism carried out by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police on students in AMU.
The agitating students also demanded that the government discontinue plans to conduct a nationwide NRC. The protesters also demanded that the CAA be revoked by the parliament. “CAA and NRC defy secularism and have been brought in to break the country. It’s a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s agenda against the constitution. We condemn the acts of violence by the police. Why is government afraid of the students?” said Sachin Bansode of Chhtra Bharti.
The agitating students also demanded that the parliament revoke CAA. “CAA is against the spirit of India’s Constitution and is discriminatory. It proposes to grant citizenship to everyone except Muslims who have migrated to India from neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. This act goes against the basic idea of India as an inclusive, diverse, secular, and democratic nation envisaged by the founding fathers of our constitution. It is part of the agenda of communal polarisation and we are sure the people of India will not fall prey to such divisive politics,” said Suvarna Salve of Samata Kala Manch.