Protests Erupt at Jamia, AMU Over Citizenship Act; Clashes Ensue
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Students’ organisations across the country have taken to the streets against the Citizenship Act, days after the contentious Bill was passed in both Houses of the Parliament.
Jamia’s Students Face Tear-Gas Shells, Lathi Charge
Jamia Millia Islamia University’s campus turned was the site of much chaos on Friday, 13 December, after the police and the students, who wanted to march to the Parliament House to protest the Citizenship Act, clashed with each other, prompting AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan to reach the spot to take stock of the situation.
The students, who were baton-charged by police personnel, allege that the police also used tear gas to thwart their march.
Nabeel, an MBA student at Jamia said the students only wanted to take out a silent march against the Amendment Act, when the police set up barricades and didn’t let them move. “When we pushed the barricades, they first lathicharged us. We were agitated and there was stone pelting. But we didn’t aim the stones at anyone,” he said.
Another student, Habiba said the police should have let the students protest in peace. “We were here to protest an act that makes us foreigners in our own land.” Habiba added that several students were injured in lathi charge and asked how they would appear for exams on Saturday.
Although students have petitioned the varsity to postpone exams, there is no word from JMI on the matter.
Videos circulated by students on social media show police caning the protestors.
The police, however, denied the allegations.
“Students started their march. We had placed barricades which they broke and tried to jump over them. Then they threw stones at us, forcing us to use tear-gas shells. The students have been detained and taken to Badarpur Police Station,” a senior police official present at the spot said.
According to an India Today report, several journalists were also injured.
AMU Students & Teachers Hold Protests on Campus
Hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University students and teachers organised separate protest marches on Friday and handed over two memorandums to authorities, demanding immediate withdrawal of the amendments made to the Citizenship Act.
Here’s what the president of the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union told The Quint on the protests in the university.
It had denied permission to BSP leader and Mayor Furqaan Ali, who wanted to hold a protest against the passage of the Citizenship Bill in the Parliament, District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
On campus, hundreds of AMU students took out a march and handed over a memorandum to the district magistrate, addressed to the Chief Justice of India, urging him to protect the Constitution since the Parliament has already passed the Bill, which they state was a blow to the unity of the country.
Later, the university’s teachers’ association – AMUTA – also held a march and handed over a memorandum addressed to the prime minister to the authorities, saying, “We urge the president, prime minister, the chief justice of India to take necessary steps to withdraw Citizenship Act and proposal for NRC as they run counter to India's rich history of pluralism and guarantee of equality before law.”
The memorandum further says, “We want to see the nation strong and vibrant and this can only be achieved if justice and merit are protected.”
AMUTA Secretary Prof Najmul Islam said the AMU community was “shocked and in agony” because of the alleged violation of the Constitution under the Citizenship Act.
(With inputs from PTI, India Today)
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