Jamia Cancels Exams Amid Student Protests, VC to 'Explore Possibility' of FIR Against Police

Students gheraod the VC's office on Monday, demanding that she register an FIR against the police for the violence on campus on December 15.

New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar on Monday said the varsity administration will “explore the possibility” of moving court for registration of an FIR against the police brutality on campus after hundreds of angry students gheraoed her office demanding action against the Delhi Police.

The university on Monday also cancelled ongoing examination, according to the Telegraph.

The vice chancellor said the National Human Rights Commission has already begun an inquiry into the December 15 police action and a National Human Rights Commission team has visited the university and another will visit on Tuesday to record the statements of the victims.

Akhtar’s assurance came in the evening after students broke the lock on the main gate, went into the office premises and raised slogans against her, demanding that an FIR be registered against the police by January 16.

Akhtar twice tried to pacify the students during the day but they refused to relent. She also said she does not want a deadline to file the FIR against police as she will follow the procedure.

The students said if police are not ready to register an FIR, they are ready to march till cognisance of their complaint is taken.

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They also demanded that the VC hold a press conference after an FIR is registered against the police and ensure safety of students on the campus and issue a statement in this regard. An independent SIT probe of the police action should be done and no action should be taken by the administration against students and the FIR filed against students be withdrawn, they added.

When the VC came out to talk to students for the second time in the evening, she agreed to accept their demands but refused to give it in writing.

The university, however, said in a statement the administration will take all possible measures to address the concerns of students. “A decision has also been taken that the administration will explore the possibility of moving court for registration of FIR in the December 15, 2019 police brutality in the university library case at the earliest.

“The university has already followed all possible steps for the registration of FIR. It has given its complaint to SHO Jamia Nagar and its copy to CP Delhi and DCP South East. University has also written letters to Joint CP Southern Range and DCP Crime for the registration of FIR earlier,” it said.

On students’ demand to re-conduct exams, as many of them had boycotted them after the violence, the university said it has accepted the demand and the “ongoing semester exams stand cancelled till further notice” and a new schedule will be announced later.

On December 15, as violence over the citizenship amendment act flared up, police personnel entered the campus and cracked down on students.

According to students, police personnel laid siege to the campus and those injured were not even allowed to get medical attention. Students said windows of the library were smashed and around 50-60 students were inside when policemen gheraoed it.

The students claimed that notices were issued to vacate the hostel post the violence but the VC has denied this.

Saeed Fahad, an architecture student, told PTI that FIRs have been registered against those who were demanding their rights during the protest. The real accused are still at large, he said, referring to the police crackdown.

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Adil, an engineering student, said not even a single FIR has been filed in connection with last month’s violence.

Ragiv Naushad, a law student, said they are not convinced by the VC’s assurance. “An FIR has to be registered as soon as possible. The vice chancellor should give us safety assurance that no police will enter the campus again,” Naushad said.

“FIR has to be done. Several students got injured during the violence and one lost his eye. What will happen to him? The students are not feeling safe inside the campus since the violence took place,” a woman student, who didn’t wish to be named, said.

(With PTI inputs)