After the violence in New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, violent protests erupted at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh on Sunday, 15 December, leaving about 60 people injured.
The Quint went to AMU to take stock of the situation, where students told us about the police brutality, and how the police entered the campus, to disperse the protesting students.
An MA final year student told us that the students were protesting in order, when the AMU administration called the police. Upon seeing the police, the protesters pelted stones in self defence. “The police also then retaliated with tear gas and started firing inside the campus,” he said.
“The police started advancing towards Morrison court hostel and fired tear gas inside the hostel, when the students came out due to suffocation. After the students came out, they lathi-charged them and later took them away.”Student
A PhD student showed us the hostel room that caught fire due to a tear gas shell exploding. He told us that during the protests, the police came inside.
Protesting students were marching north, towards Aftab gate, but police came to the hostel around 11 pm to 1 am and brutally assaulted them. One room even caught fire as a tear gas shell exploded inside the room.
“One of the boys living in this room was detained by the police. He is nowhere to be found, and there is no word from the administration as well.”Student
After the protest, the adminstration announced early vacation for the university till 5 January. AMU Registrar Abdul Hamid said the police entered the campus late on Sunday night. “Hostels are being evacuated,” he told PTI.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also appealed to the residents of the state to maintain peace and harmony.
“People should not pay attention to the rumours about Citizenship Amendment Act being spread by some vested interests,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said, “Section 144 of CrPC remains imposed in all districts of Uttar Pradesh since 9 November.”
Meanwhile, internet services have suspended in Aligarh until further notice.
Ripples of Jamia Protests Reach Aligarh
The clashes at AMU started after an agitation by Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia students against the legislation turned violent and police used batons and tear gas to enter the college campus to disperse the protesters. Many students were injured in the national capital.
The AMU students gathered at the Babey Sir Syed Gate and raised slogans against the police action on the demonstrators in Delhi.
The students broke the police cordon and fought pitched battles with the forces.
“About 60 students are being treated at Nehru Medical College Hospital and most of them are with trauma and eye injuries caused by tear gas,” Chief Medical Officer Dr Nisar Ahmad said.
AMU Proctor Prof Afifullah Khan said some security personnel were injured in brick-batting near the gate. An official of the Rapid Action Force, who sustained head injuries, was seen asking for a helmet in a video.
Tension prevailed in the area as police used batons and tear gas to control the situation. Police later sealed all gates to the campus.
The registrar said the administration, along with the university, were in touch with the protestors and things were in control.
“But in the evening, suddenly some students and unruly elements started pelting stones and also damaged property, due which a request was made to the administration to use force, so as to control the situation.”Abdul Hamid, Registrar, AMU
There is no loss of life and property, he added.
"The university is closed from today (15/12/2019) till 05/01/2020. This is being done due to disturbances created by some antisocial elements for last three days," he said.
"All other offices will remain open as usual and the closure of the university is for the purpose of reading and examination only. The remaining examination will be conducted after 05/01/2020," he said in a statement.
He said the schedule for examination will be notified later.
The district magistrate has been requested to make arrangements so that the students living at the hostel could be sent home through buses. Rail officials are also being contacted in this regard, he added.
Situation Under Control: Police
ADG, Agra zone, Ajay Anand told reporters here that the situation is under control and whatever steps are needed to maintain peace will be taken.
When asked whether the deputy inspector general sustained injuries in the clash, Anand said, "Some police personnel have sustained injuries. Whatever legal steps have to be taken, will be taken." Reacting to reports that some students were protesting in outside Darul Uloom Nadwa (Islamic seminary) in Lucknow, Inspector General (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said "there is total peace in UP".
He said some students came out for a while but were sent back to the campus.
"The field staff is vigilant and in touch with all. Abundant precautions have been taken," he added.
Meanwhile, scores of Banaras Hindu University students also staged a protest at the Lanka Gate in support of the AMU students.
BHU students from the Left-backed AISA wing, along with other student unions, raised slogans in support of the AMU students.