New Delhi: Hundreds of AMU students protesting against the amended Citizenship (Amendment) Act bore the brunt of police violence on Sunday at a campus gate, leaving 60 injured.
After the protest, the administration announced the closure of the university till January 5.
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) registrar Abdul Hamid said the police entered the campus late on Sunday night and violence reported from inside. “Hostels are being evacuated,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to the residents of the state to maintain peace and harmony.
“People should not pay attention to the rumours about Citizenship Amendment Act being spread by some vested interests,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.
Reports coming in from the university suggest that the police may have been involved in vandalism on campus, including setting fire to hostels. Police also allegedly entered locked women’s hostels.
Police violence is being reported at AMU as well.
In this video, an ambulance driver says that the police attacked the wounded while in the ambulance and were refusing to let them go.
— The Wire (@thewire_in) December 15, 2019
According to NDTV, the police plans to “evacuate” the university today and send all students home.
“We are evacuating AMU today, we will send all students home,” UP Director General of Police OP Singh said. “We have received no reports of any vandalism by the police.”
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said, “Section 144 of CrPC remains imposed in all districts of Uttar Pradesh since November 9.”
The protests at AMU started after agitation by Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia students against the legislation was violently clamped down on, with the police using batons and tear gas to disperse protesters. Several students were injured in the national capital.
The AMU students gathered at the Babey Sir Syed Gate and raised slogans against the police action on the demonstrators in Delhi.
The students broke the police cordon..
“About 60 students are being treated at Nehru Medical College Hospital and most of them are with trauma and eye injuries caused by tear gas,” chief medical officer Dr Nisar Ahmad said.
AMU proctor Prof Afifullah Khan said some security personnel was injured in brick-batting near the gate. An official of the Rapid Action Force, who sustained head injuries, was seen asking for a helmet in a video.
Tension prevailed in the area as police used batons and tear gas to control the situation. Police have sealed all gates to the campus.
The registrar said the administration, along with the university, was in touch with the protestors and things were in control.
“But in the evening, suddenly some students and unruly elements started pelting stones and also damaged property, due which a request was made to the administration to use force, so as to control the situation,” he said.
There is no loss of life and property, he added.
“The university is closed from today December 15, 2019, till January 5, 2020. This is being done due to disturbances created by some antisocial elements for the last three days,” he said.
“All other offices will remain open as usual and the closure of the university is for the purpose of reading and examination only. The remaining examination will be conducted after January 5, 2020,” he said in a statement.
He said the schedule for the examination will be notified later.
The district magistrate has been requested to make arrangements so that the hostellers could be sent home through buses. Rail officials are also being contacted in this regard, he added.
ADG, Agra zone, Ajay Anand told reporters here that the situation is under control and whatever steps are needed to maintain peace will be taken.
When asked whether the deputy inspector general sustained injuries in the clash, Anand said, “Some police personnel has sustained injuries. Whatever legal steps have to be taken, will be taken.”
Reacting to reports that some students were protesting in outside Darul Uloom Nadwa (Islamic seminary) in Lucknow, Inspector General (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said: “There is total peace in UP”.
He said some students came out for a while but were sent back to the campus. “The field staff is vigilant and in touch with all. Abundant precautions have been taken,” he added.
Meanwhile, scores of Banaras Hindu University students also staged a protest at the Lanka Gate in support of the AMU students. BHU students from the Left-backed AISA wing, along with other student unions, raised slogans in support of the AMU students.
(With PTI inputs)