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After Jamia, anti-Citizenship Act protests spread to campuses country-wide

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 16, 2019 Published on December 16, 2019

Students staging a protest demonstration outside Jamia Millia University against the CAA in New Delhi on Monday

PM says no Indian has to worry about CAA; Opposition questions police action

Police action on students agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Jamia Millia Islamia sparked countrywide protests on Monday with all opposition parties joining in. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the CAA protests as “unfortunate and deeply distressing” while students in central universities, IITs and Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) marched across campuses in solidarity with Jamia students.

The police entered the Jamia campus in Delhi as also the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) following clashes and videos of policemen beating up girls in the Jamia library circulated widely on the social media and TV channels. Jamia Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar said the police had entered the campus without permission.

“We will not tolerate police presence on the campus. They scared our students with police brutality,” said Akhtar at a press conference, adding that the University will file an FIR against damage to property and the police action on students. The Opposition has demanded a judicial probe into the incident.

Since the incident on Sunday night, students of Delhi University and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have been protesting and the agitation spread to other campuses and cities including Lucknow, Patna, Purnia (in Bihar), Kolkata, Raipur, Thiruvananthapuram.

In Delhi, a large number of students, teachers, and activists convened around India Gate in the evening with Congress leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Ghulam Nabi Azad joining in.

In Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a massive protest against CAA.

The Prime Minister, in the meantime, said on twitter that “violent protests” on the CAA are unfortunate and deeply distressing. “Debate, discussion and dissent are essential parts of democracy but, never has damage to public property and disturbance of normal life been a part of our ethos,” he tweeted.

“I want to unequivocally assure my fellow Indians that CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion. No Indian has anything to worry regarding this Act. This Act is only for those who have faced years of persecution outside and have no other place to go except India,” he said.

The Opposition leaders held a joint press conference and underlined that the police had entered the Jamia campus without the permission of University authorities. “How could the police enter Jamia and unleash such brutality on the students when the university authorities did not allow the police to enter,” asked Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Published on December 16, 2019
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