Several students of Jamia Millia Islamia were injured as police entered their campus and lathicharged them after protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in South Delhi turned violent.
The injured students were taken to a nearby hospital.
In the afternoon, three public buses and a fire tender were set afire in New Friends’ Colony. According to Delhi Fire Service, students of Jamia Millia Islamia University blocked the way of one of the fire tenders and damaged it. Two firemen were also injured in the violence, they said. Jamia Millia, however, denied its involvement in the arson and violence, claiming it was the work of “outsiders”.
By the evening, police entered the campus and shut off its gates. Students were beaten up with batons and tear gas shells were set off inside the campus, even as police personnel were pelted with stones. Hundreds of students were made to file out of the central library with their hands in the air.
#BREAKING ; Waseem Ahmed Khan, Chief Proctor, @jamiamillia_ University: @DelhiPolice have entered the campus by force, no permission was given. Our staff and students are being beaten up and forced to leave the campus.@ArvindKejriwal @LtGovDelhi @CPDelhi
— Jamia Millia Islamia (@jamiamillia_) December 15, 2019
Around 8:30 pm, police said situation at the university was under control, and that some people had been detained. PTI quoted police sources as saying they entered the campus “to control the situation after violence erupted”.
Jamia dissociates itself from violence
In an official statement, Jamia Millia Islamia said: “On today’s violent incident in the vicinity of JMI, it is clarified that it happened during the protest organised by the people of the nearby areas and not by JMI students. The university has already declared winter vacation and postponed semester examination after 13 December incident. A large number of students staying in hostels have already left and the Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar appealed to the students to maintain peace.”
The student community of Jamia also came out with a statement. “We have time and again maintained that our protests are peaceful and non-violent. We stand by this approach and condemn any party involved in the violence. We have maintained calm even when students have been lathi-charged and some women protestors have been badly beaten up,” read the statement.
The Teachers’ Association of Jamia, meanwhile, has called an emergency meeting at 11 am Monday to “discuss the misuse of Jamia’s name in the protests.”
Kejriwal appeals for peace, BJP blames AAP
As violence at Jamia escalated, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed for peace. “No one shud indulge in violence. Any kind of violence is unacceptable. Protests shud remain peaceful. Spoke to Hon’ble LG and urged him to take all steps to restore normalcy and peace. We are also doing everything possible at our end. Real miscreants who caused violence shud be identified and punished,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, however, blamed AAP for “instigating people”.
“You get your MLA to instigate people, make them indulge in arson and ask them to keep protesting. Why don’t you tell people there is no need to protest as Indian Muslims have nothing to do with CAA? You want to spread violence in the capital for your politics. Worrisome,” Tiwari tweeted.
Metro, road traffic hit
According to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, entry & exit gates of Sukhdev Vihar, Jamia Millia Islamia, Okhla Vihar and Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh have been closed. Trains are not halting at these stations.
The Delhi Traffic Police, meanwhile, has said: ” Mathura Road opposite New Friends Colony both carriageways have been blocked by demonstrators. Motorists coming from Badarpur side are advised to take Modi Mill Flyover from CRRI towards Nehru Place& those coming from Ashram Chowk side are advised to take Ring Road, Moolchand Flyover & BRT Corridor or DND Flyover.”