‘Like Jallianwala Bagh’: Uddhav Thackeray on police crackdown on Jamia students

The Opposition Congress has led the charge in criticising the police action.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has compared the police action against students of Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi to the massacre at 1919 Jallianwala Bagh.

“What happened at Jamia Millia Islamia, is like Jallianwala Bagh. Students are like a ‘Yuva bomb’. So we request the central government to not do, what they are doing, with students,” he said, according to news agency ANI.

Thackeray is the latest politician to criticise Delhi Police’s action against the Jamia students during Sunday’s protest. The police entered the Jamia university campus after a protest march the students were leading on the streets of Delhi against the new citizenship law turned violent on Sunday. A few policemen were injured in the violence.

The cops then entered the university and searched the campus for miscreants – an action which has been widely condemned.

The Opposition Congress has led the charge in criticising the police action. The Congress has said that it is a fight to protect the Constitution, which is being “violated and threatened” by the BJP with its “divisive” politics through the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The Shiv Sena is ruling Maharashtra in partnership with Congress.

Many student bodies have come out in support of Jamia students. They shouted slogans against the government, held placards, issued statements of support and organised rallies to oppose the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, which favours non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on the grounds that they are “persecuted minorities” in those countries.

As student anger simmered, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for calm and said no Indian citizen would be affected by the CAA. “This is the time to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood. It is my appeal to everyone to stay away from any sort of rumour mongering and falsehoods,” he added.

The alleged police brutality on Sunday evening left many students at Jamia university injured or hospitalised. The campus resembled a war zone with police fighting pitched battles with protesters and firing tear gas shells. Jamia chief proctor Waseem Ahmed Khan has said the police entered the university by force and thrashed staff members and students.

Students also said that police barged into the library beat up pupils, dragging them out. Students could be seen coming out of the university campus with their hands raised even as mobs set fire to buses and vandalised public property.

Police have denied all reports of assault and claimed that they did not enter the library buildings and assault students. Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa said, “Our personnel entered the campus while chasing the violent protestors who were pelting stones, tube lights, bulbs, bottles on them, to push them back and contain the situation. No police personnel went inside the library or vandalised it. Tear gas shells may have gone inside the library since it was close to the places from where they were being fired.”

Source: Hindustan Times


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