Leaders of opposition parties came together on Monday to address a press conference at the Constitution Club in Delhi following the clashes between the students and the police in the Jamia Millia Islamia University on Sunday. General Secretary of CPI Sitaram Yechury condemned the police action against students during which many students were injured as police barged into the Jamia campus and resorted to lathi-charge and firing teargas shells.
Sitaram Yechury said, "We are here primarily to first to outrightly condemn what happened in Jamia Millia University yesterday and this is something that is unacceptable in a democracy. No police can enter any university campus without the permission of authorities. Here everybody, including the Vice-Chancellor, has clearly stated that they did not ask for the police entry. So the police entered and we saw the police brutality with which they dealt with the students and the manner in which they switched off the electricity and in darkness, they were beating the students in the darkness. I think this is something unacceptable in a democracy and we outrightly condemn this."
The CPI leader stated that the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Act is "not a Hindu-Muslim issue". He said, "The CAB is an issue which is directly an affront to the Indian constitution that you cannot link citizenship with religion. We would like to know on whose orders Delhi police entered the university with the permission of the university authorities. Whoever gave the orders should be punished and brought to book. The Home Minister is directly in-charge, where is he? We have not been able to see him for the past two days. All three central universities in the national capital because of the intervention of the government and the forces. They are destroying our higher education. The democratic rights of the citizens cannot be suppressed under the jackboots of the government. We will take this movement all over India and this is the announcement we want to make here today."
Protestors torched four public buses and two police vehicles in New Friends’ Colony near the university during a demonstration against the act, leaving nearly 60 people including students, cops and fire-fighters injured. A Jamia students’ body claimed they had nothing to do with the arson and “certain elements” had joined the protest and “disrupted” it. They also accused the police of high-handedness. The university had turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus following protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which led to violence and arson. Several states in the northeast and West Bengal have been rocked by violent protests over the Act, which seeks to provide citizenship to non-muslim religious minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
(With PTI inputs)