The students of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, who were detained by the Delhi Police after a protest march against the citizenship law ended in violence on Sunday evening, have received a strong backing from the university’s Vice- Chancellor.
“I am hurt by the way my students were treated. I want to let my students know that they are not alone in this fight. I am with them. I will take this matter forward as long its possible,” Jamia university Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar said in a video message.
The students, who were released early this morning, were detained after the police, in a crackdown to regain control, entered Jamia without permission from university officials. The police said they were doing what needed to be done to bring the situation under control. Rules require the police to take permission from the university authorities before entering a campus.
Hundreds of people who had gathered outside the Delhi Police Headquarters in protest have dispersed after the students were released.
In video footage, students can be seen walking on the pavement of a battle-scarred main road holding their hands above their heads while cops hurried and hassled them away.
“Police have entered the campus by force, no permission was given. Our staff and students are being beaten up and forced to leave the campus,” Waseem Ahmed Khan, Chief Proctor of Jamia, was quoted by news agency ANI.
A student claimed that some of the students were picked up from the library.
Sunday’s pitched battle between a mob and the police had followed a protest march held by the students against the new citizenship law. By the end of it, at least three buses and more than a hundred two-wheelers were set ablaze and the police used batons and teargas to bring the situation under control.
The university has claimed that some locals who joined the protest march were responsible for the violence. Professor Akhtar told that some members of the public “from the main road that divides the university campus into two may have joined the protest”.