Security forces used “unlawful and reckless tactics against student protestors” at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, a group of more than 400 current and former students from top US universities says.
More than 400 students and alumni from a number of prestigious US varsities have asked Home Minister Amit Shah to check police brutality against protesters opposing a new citiznenship law, or step down.
Among the steps they’ve asked him to take: an “immediate, independent, and robust investigation into the abuse of power by the Delhi Police, Uttar Pradesh Police, and the Central Reserve Police Force”.
The schools these current and former students represent include Ivy League institutions like Harvard, Yale, Brown and Columbia.
In a statement, they condemned “the brutal police violence” faced by students at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Uttar Pradesh.
The Delhi Police entered the Jamia campus on Sunday after protests nearby became violent — a turn of events the varsity’s students said they had no hand in.
Testimonies from those present on campus suggest the police targeted people indiscriminately, lobbing tear gas shells in a library and even attacking a cleric and a former Army man who works as a guard.
The police, on the other hand, have said they only entered Jamia’s campus to control the situation. They say Sunday’s events were part of a planned conspiracy.
‘UNLAWFUL AND RECKLESS TACTICS’
“We express full solidarity with students across universities in India who are peacefully protesting against the recent passing of the unconstitutional and discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act,” the US varsity students and alumni said.
“By every account, it appears that police and paramilitary, both at Jamia Milia Islamia University, and at Aligarh Muslim University, have used violence and pursued unlawful and reckless tactics against student protestors in violation of protections under the Constitution of India and international human rights law,” they said.
They also condemned the security forces’ use of violence in Assam, where several people have been killed in police firing.
They said they were “deeply concerned” by the Chief Justice of India’s statement “terming these protests as riots’ and characterising this situation as simply one for the police to handle as a law and order problem, without recognising the violation of the rights of protestors, and especially the degree of violence unleashed on them.”
Source: India Today