New Delhi: Their belongings locked in the library and eyes still burning from teargas, several Jamia Millia Islamia students narrated their ordeal on Monday after a police crackdown inside the campus the evening before. A day after the violence, the students expressed fear of being attacked again.
Twenty-one-year-old Sahul Khan, a History student, said, “I am preparing for CBSE clerk recruitment exam scheduled for December 25. The university is shut now, where will I go? My family doesn’t even know what has happened. They do not even have a television.”
Another student said, “I have polio in my right leg. The police hit me and I limped out of the library. It is a pity that they did not even spare specially-abled people.”
Arsalan, an MBA student, said he was beaten up inside the library on Sunday. “People in civilian clothes were accompanying police on Sunday. They torched buses and the students borne the brunt. My eyes are still burning due to exposure to tear gas,” he said.
Braving freezing cold, hundreds of students on Monday morning poured into the streets outside Jamia Millia Islamia to protest the police action against their colleagues a day earlier. Women students from several states extended support to the protesting students, along with local residents and some guardians.
Protestors torched four public buses and two police vehicles as they clashed with police in New Friends’ Colony near Jamia Millia Islamia during a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act, leaving at least 40 people including students, policemen and fire fighters injured, officials said. The police used batons and teargas shells to disperse the violent mob and entered the Jamia university campus, detaining several persons allegedly involved in the violence.
But a Jamia students’ body claimed they had nothing to do with the violence and arson during the protest and alleged that “certain elements” had joined in and “disrupted” the demonstration. They also accused the police of high-handedness. Escorted by police, some youths could be seen coming out of their hostels with their hands raised. Some of them claimed the police also entered the library and “harassed” the students.