‘We Faced Police Attack and we Are the Ones Thrown on …
New Delhi: After facing Uttar Pradesh police’s brutality during a protest on December 15 night, thousands of NRSC (non-resident students’ centre) students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), along with their parents and non-teaching staff of the varsity, on Monday resumed their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.(CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). The students took out a candle march in solidarity with the injured students of AMU and with their counterparts in Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, who faced brutal police crackdown.
The protest in AMU is continuing despite the campus being closed till January 5 and hostels being vacated after the university administration decided to suspend all classes.
The students pasted the names of people on a tree who had lost their lives, declaring them as ‘martyrs’. They also demanded action against AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor, Registrar S Abdul Hamid and the Aligarh Police.
Carrying placards, “AMU is still alive” and demanding “Azadi” (freedom) from CAA/NRC and police brutality, the students, with girls in the forefront, also voiced their protest in the form of a kind pf a rap song on freedom from repression, “Tum dande maro.. Azadi, Tum jail me dalo .. Azadi, Tum ilzam lagao.. Azadi, hum nahi jhukenge…Azadi, hum nahi rukenge..Azadi, Hum lekar rahenge.. Azadi, Jo tum na doge.. Azadi, hum chheen ke rahenge .. Azadi, par lekar rahenge… Azadi”.
Fauzia, a student said: “the administration cannot mute our voices by closing the university and vacating our hostels. Yesterday’s protest was only to show the administration that we will protest in a peaceful manner no matter what our number is. The university administration is responsible for that day when police entered the campus and beat up students brutally. The Aligarh police not only lathi-charged but also entered rooms and fired teargas shells and opened fire. Rooms were set ablaze, isn’t this brutality?”
Afzal Khan, a research scholar in the Urdu department, who was part of protest on Monday evening, told NewClick: “Over 5,000 non-hostelers along with non-teaching staff joined the protest from Chungi Gate to the iconic Bab-e-Syed in solidarity with those who lost their lives across the country during ongoing protests against CAA/NRC. Our protest was also against police brutality on students of AMU and Jamia,” adding that “we demanded the resignation of AMU VC Tariq Mansoor and his fellow colleague Registrar S Abdul Hamid with immediate effect as they are solely responsible what happened that night inside the campus.”
Meanwhile, several students also gave two hours of ultimatum to the university administration to re-open the hostel and threatened to break the locks if this was not done. “It so disheartening and sad that the protesting students were attacked by the police and they are the ones who were thrown on the streets in this chilling cold,” a student said.
‘AMU Provosts Threatened Students to Vacate Hostels’
AMU provosts had not only allowed the police to enter the campus on the fateful night of December 15, when violence erupted in the varsity, but also reportedly threatened the hostelers to vacate their rooms immediately if they wanted to escape “action” by the district administration.
However, the university administration, including provosts of several halls, claimed they had not given any notice to vacate hostels and also denied allowing the police to enter the campus.
However, according to a notice issued by the provost of Sir Syed Hall (south), Badrudduja Khan, the students were asked to vacate the hostel by December 16 and latest by December 17 morning (8 a.m), “or else the district authorities would enter the hall premises to take action.”
Afzal, a resident of MM Hall, who is now staying with some relatives in Aligarh, alleged: “Not only SS Hall (South) but also provost of MM Hall, Dr Tufail Tufail Ahmad, and of the VM Hall had asked students to vacate hostels by December 16 night, as per the orders of the vice-chancellor.”
Bilal Majid, a research scholar in the history department, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, said: “Many students who haven’t gone back home are resisting the ruthless diktat of the university administration. The university is failing to live up to its credentials to work for the study and welfare of students. Rather, it is disowning and discrediting us”
Majid said many students who were on the verge of submitting their theses were frustrated. “Students who have to go for research seminars and conferences couldn’t complete their papers as the internet was shut down,” he added.
Students in AMU from two states faced the worst time.
“Students from Kashmir and Assam were severely affected, as they have to undertake an arduous journey to reach home. While going to Kashmir from Aligarh, they had to take shelter in masjids (for men) and madrasas (for women students) in Jammu. However, students living in rented rooms with 8 to 9 persons in a single room, have decided to come back and reclaim the campus. Many students who didn’t get rental accommodation outside campus or couldn’t afford to pay the rent are resisting vacating their hostel,” said Majid, who lives in a rented room. He said they had a meeting with the Dean of Student’s Welfare in this regard, and tried to persuade him to open the hostels and gave him an ultimatum of certain hours, he said, adding that “if the administration fails to abide by our demands, we have decided to break the hostel locks and reclaim the campus.”
When NewsClick approached the AMU Registrar Abdul Hamid, he said the administration was not aware of any such notices issued by the provosts.
On Friday, too, hundreds of AMU students and teachers organised separate protest marches and handed over two memoranda to the authorities, demanding immediate withdrawal of amendments made to the Citizenship Act.
AMU had witnessed police violence during protests against police attack on students of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia on January 15. The university was later closed till January 5, and a one-man inquiry committee was set up on December 21 to probe into the incident.
Published at Tue, 24 Dec 2019 06:52:00 +0000