Unrest over the police crackdown in Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act rippled in angry waves through the country on Monday with demonstrations in several campuses, including in Hyderabad, Lucknow and Mumbai. The morning after violence broke out in the national capital, thousands of students across India took to the streets demanding a probe into the use of teargas inside the Jamia library as well as police entering the campus without permission from university authorities. There was heavy police presence in university campuses.
Several Delhi University students boycotted exams and held a protest outside the Arts Faculty in North Campus to express their solidarity with the movement. They said they will gather at India Gate on Monday evening.
At ground zero of the student movement, a group of Jamia students stood shirtless in the bone-chilling cold of a Delhi morning to protest the action against their colleagues on Sunday.
Several students were seen leaving for home but the anger simmered. Slogans of "inquilab zindabad" were heard about 10 students, accompanied by their fellow colleagues, took out a small march, demanding a CBI inquiry into the "police brutality".
As a few women escorted an injured student to narrate their ordeal to the media, some people were seen asking them not to give any statements.
"We were inside the university when the police barged in. Around 20 policemen came from gate no 7 and 50 others came from the rear gate. We told them we were not involved in the violence. They didn't listen. They didn't even spare women," Khanzala, who suffered injuries to his legs and abdomen, said. A women broke down as Khanzala showed his injuries to the media.
Fifty detained Jamia students were released early Monday but tension continued in the campus. In Lucknow's Nadwa College, students gathered in the hundreds shouting slogans like "Awaz do, hum ek hain" (call us we are all united) as police tried to control the situation. "Some students of the Nadwatul Ulama here tried to protest and hurled stones from inside. They were prevented and no one is allowed to come outside the campus," said Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O P Singh.
In Hyderabad's Maulana Azad Urdu University, students held a protest march post midnight in solidarity with the Jamia students and demanded that their exams be postponed. There were angry demonstrations at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi and at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata with demands that the government take action against police "hooliganism".
"Crackdown is a very small word to be used for what happened in Jamia yesterday. This is clear hooliganism. Videos of policemen smashing bikes and beating students are all over social media. The government must fix accountability for this," said a PHD student at BHU. Ridhima Dua, a Jadavpur University student, asked how teargas could be used inside a closed compound.
"if I am molested on a street and go to police to file a complaint I will be told about norms. Where are the norms now? How can teargas be used inside a closed compound? How can policemen just barge into the university without any permission from vice chancellor? There has to be a probe in this," she said. Students from the Tata Insitute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai also protested on the streets shouting slogans such as "Shame on Delhi Police".
In Chennai, students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras called for a protest. The first to join the movement against the violence in Jamia were students from the Aligarh University University (AMU) where there were clashes with the police late night on Sunday in which at least 60 students were injured.
After the protest, the administration announced closure of the university till January 5 and students have been asked to evacuate the hostels. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the state government was committed to provide security to every citizen of the state. "For this, it is necessary that everyone follows the law. Nobody will be allowed to disturb the atmosphere of peace in the state," he said.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students joined their compatriots in Jamia outside the police headquarters at Delhi's ITO on Sunday night to protest the alleged police assault on students at the Jamia campus earlier in the day. The university turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus and also used force, following protest against the Act.