Nothing will stop our protest against the CAA, says student at Jamia Millia Islamia University

Updated: 18 December, 2019 07:09 IST | Gaurav Sarkar |

Students living at the damaged Jamia campus were advised to evacuate for their safety without abandoning the protest against CAA and NRC

The students continued with their peaceful protest against the CAA on Tuesday
The students continued with their peaceful protest against the CAA on Tuesday

It was not just police vehicles in Delhi's Seelampur area which were burnt on Tuesday, but the common political dais across India, from where Opposition leaders delivered fiery speeches condemning the brutal attack by Delhi Police on students of Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI) in the Capital.

Both instances were linked to the protests against the recently-passed Citizen (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA).

A little after 6 pm on Sunday, the JMI campus had witnessed intense clashes between the students and Delhi Police personnel, after a protest went south following an incident of stone-pelting and torching of buses — allegedly by the police themselves.

The authorities unleashed tear gas and lathi charged the students. By Monday, the national capital had come to a standstill, with various other student organisations joining the protests.

Students living at the damaged and desecrated Jamia campus were advised to evacuate for their safety without abandoning the protest against CAA and NRC. Most of them now find themselves displaced and homeless after Sunday's incident. Most of them — especially students who are not natives of Delhi — are currently either seeking shelter at friends' homes.

An M Phil student at JMI, was present in the old library of the campus on Sunday evening when police authorities barged in without the VC's permission and began rounding up students and vandalising property.

A student protests in DelhiA student protests in Delhi

"My friends who live on the campus hostel told me that they are leaving, there is barely anyone left there," she told mid-day. "Everyone has been told to evacuate the campus because it's not safe there anymore. My parents don't feel safe about me being there at all. They are very much scared but our peaceful protest against the unconstitutional CAA will go on. Nothing can stop that."

The hope, she said, is that "The government comes back to its senses and repeals this act." She said, "If this (CAA) is implemented along with NRC, it will be a disaster."

'Recognise the pattern'

Mohammed Faisal, an alumnus of JMI, confirmed that there were barely any people left on campus.

"At least 90 per cent of the students have left after Sunday's incident," he said. "We had a peaceful protest on Monday. It continued on Tuesday but we let the traffic pass smoothly around Okhla where the protests are happening. A lot of the alumni have come together and are providing food and water to the protesting students," Faisal explained, adding that some students were now seeking shelter at the Jamma Masjid in Okhla.

Dr Rohma Javed Rashid, an assistant professor at JMI's Department of History & Culture, who was also a part of Tuesday's protests along with the students, said, "The only ones to have committed violence is the police. All our protests have been non-violent, our students have shown restraint. We demand a probe into the violence that was unleashed on the students here on Sunday."

90% of students who left after Sunday's incident

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First Published: 18 December, 2019 07:00 IST

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