New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia students and residents in the neighbourhood attempted to take out a march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the fourth time since the law was passed in December.
The last time, a student, Shadab Farooq, was shot in the arm in front of several policemen by a gunman who described himself as a “Rambhakt”.
The Election Commission replaced DCP Chinmoy Biswal with R.P. Meena, who perched himself on a barricade on Monday and tried to ensure that the police personnel played by the book.
Meena repeatedly requested the students to return to the campus, after stopping the march to Parliament at The Aardee School, and on a megaphone kept reminding police officers not to get into fisticuffs with the protesters.
The CRPF was ordered to form a buffer between Delhi police and the students, after the struggle between the two heated up. There was no lathicharge, and the crowd was tired having been pushed back repeatedly.
Chal, azadi deta hoon, says Constable
But this paper saw a constable hold a detained student leader — Abu Darda Khan — by his hair and slap him several times in a police van, and say “Chal, azadi deta hoon!”
Unlike recent instances of police brutality, where officers either looked away or oversaw excesses by colleagues — some policemen on Monday dragged the constable away from Khan.
However, one student was admitted to the ICU of Al Shifa Hospital, and several women students also came there for treatment of injuries in their abdomen.
Hospital spokesperson Maghroob Zaidi told The Telegraph: “A student named Rashid is in the ICU with injuries to his abdomen, limbs and neck which he says he suffered when the police pulled him by his neck and hit him with a stick.”
Zaidi said there were no fractures. Several students were detained after the protest, and one of them complained that he was kicked and threatened with death. They were released later.
The police said in a statement that “appropriate legal action is being taken against the aggressive and violent crowd”.
Jamia VC visits Al Shifa Hospital
Jamia vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar visited Al Shifa Hospital, where some students are being treated for injuries suffered during the protest.
Nayla Khan, a student of mass communication who had accompanied Farooq to hospital on January 30, said: “It’s the same as last time. We were stopped from going to Parliament. We don’t have a choice. Either we accept the reality that several of us will end up in detention centres, or we struggle against it.”
During the agitation, when students saw an ambulance struggle to find an exit because of police barricades, they convinced the police to open the Sukhdev Vihar barricade to let the vehicle through.