Hundreds of Jamia Millia Islamia students and residents of nearby areas were on Monday stopped by police from taking out a march to Parliament against the CAA and NRC, leading to a seven-hour standoff during which scuffles broke out between protesters and security personnel.
Protesters accused the Delhi Police of hitting them in their private parts, according to several media reports. India Today reported that at least 10 Jamia students were admitted to Jamia Health Centre for injuries to their private parts. "More than 10 women students have been hit on their private parts. We have found blunt injuries and some have been hit in a way that we had to shift them to Al Shifa because injuries are serious in nature," the doctors said, as per the report.
Another student said that the cops were beating them below the belt so that the cameras could not capture it. "They were pushing us so hard that we got stuck in stampede four or five times," the student said. She added, "There are women who have been injured in their sensitive parts. I have been hit in the elbow and abdomen. They are hitting us with lathi below the belt so that it didn't come in camera [sic]."
A student told News18 a university student "suffered injuries to her private parts" after being hit by Delhi Police officers while the personnel were trying to stop the anti-Citizenship Act march.
"They were pushing us aside; they had all this gear on. They were saying that they are not using batons, but when we were in the crowd and stranded, they were pushing us and were hitting us below the belt. They were hitting us on our legs. There is a woman student who has been severely injured on her sensitive parts, which is not good. There was also a stampede-like situation, where people got choked and nauseated. That is what happened with me also. I fainted twice. We had no space to breathe," a woman student of Jamia Millia Islamia, who has been admitted to a hospital, said as per the report. At least three students told News18 that they had been hit on their private parts.
The protesters, including Jamia students and alumni, were led by the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC). They were marching towards Parliament to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The university has been at the epicentre of the resistance against the contentious citizenship law.
Police said the protesters did not have permission to march to the Parliament. The police reportedly lathi-charged the students.
Ahead of the protest, Jamia Millia Islamia chief proctor Waseem Ahmad said, "I request both students and police to deal with the situation in a calm manner. I appeal to students to move back."
Delhi: Jamia Coordination Committee's (JCC) protest march against CAA, NRC, & NPR, from Jamia to Parliament, stopped by security forces near Holy Family Hospital in Okhla. pic.twitter.com/McBArSRDOy
— ANI (@ANI) February 10, 2020
Before the scuffle, there was heavy deployment of security personnel, many in riot gear, in and around the university.
The protesters began their march from Jamia's gate no 7, while the police appealed to them to end their march, PTI reported.
The protesters raised slogans such as "kagaz nahi dikhayenge" (we won't show documents)" and "jab nahi dare hum goron se toh kyun dare hum auron se" (when we did not fear the British, then why should we fear others).
Several women also participated in the protest. Many waved the Tricolour and raised slogans of 'halla bol'. Men formed a human chain on either sides of roads as women walked ahead.
"It has been two months since we are protesting. No one from the government has come to talk to us, so we want to go to talk to them," said Zeba Anhad, a protester in a burqa.
A scuffle ensued when policemen tried to halt protesters, with many jumping over barricades.
The CAA allows easier citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before 2015 to escape religious persecution there. Muslim migrants don't figure on this list.
Those opposing the CAA contend that it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the Constitution. They also allege that the CAA along with the NRC is intended to target the Muslim community in India.
However, the Centre has dismissed the allegations, maintaining that the law is intended to give citizenship to the persecuted minorities from the three neighbouring countries and not to take away anyone's citizenship.
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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2020 23:54:11 IST