Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
Students and residents of Batla House, including activist Umar Khalid's mother and sister, were allegedly detained by the Delhi Police on Tuesday, 15 December, when they were taking part in a candle march to mark one year of the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia.
The candle march started at around 6:30 pm and was supposed to be held from Batla House to Jamia Square, according to Saim Iqbal, an eye witness at the protest.
Iqbal, 18-years-old, told The Quint that, “the police picked up 9-10 people as a precautionary measure, and took them to a van because they were alerted by someone that this march would happen”. He added that the police didn’t allow any video recordings to be taken and said, “One friend was recording, they snatched his phone and smashed it on the road. I recorded from a distance so they don’t do the same to me”.
Those allegedly detained were released later between 9 pm to 9:30 pm.
Umar Khalid’s Mother And Sister Were Detained
Speaking to The Quint, Umar Khalid's father SQR Ilyas said, "Both my wife and daughter were participating in a candle march protest till Jamia in commemoration of the violence on the premises of the institution from last year. With them were several students from Jamia who were leading the march. They were detained around 6:30 pm and reached home by 9:30 pm. They have just told me that they were taken to a police station in Bawana."
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police, in a statement, said, "A group of protesters had assembled at Batla House for a candlelight march to mark the anniversary of the CAA agitation. The police team removed the agitators from the spot. Meanwhile, three ladies also accompanied the protesters. The protesters were then counseled regarding COVID-appropriate behaviour and were requested to return to their respective homes."
A Protester Tells Us His Version of the Events
A 19-year-old who wished to be anonymous and was detained by the police spoke to The Quint. “We asked the police why you are taking us, they didn’t answer us,” he said.
He told The Quint that “There were 10 of us, 9 students including me and one rickshaw driver”. The protester told us that the rickshaw driver was a common man who was not really part of the protests.
The police allegedly picked up the protesters around 7 pm, and dropped them off to Zakir Nagar at around 9 pm. He told The Quint, “The police took us at 7 pm around Delhi, around Nairoli, Sainik farm, and then dropped us off to Zakir Nagar by 9 pm”.
On 15 December last year, amid the anti-CAA protests, the police had barged into the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia. Several students were beaten up and parts of the campus vandalised.