New Delhi: Though the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has further extended the winter break, protests continue in the varsity with girl students taking centre-stage. As per an earlier notice, the campus was to reopen on January 6.
Carrying placards, “AMU is still alive” and demanding “Azaadi” (freedom) from CAA/NRC and police brutality, several girl students continued their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on the campus on Friday. The students have been protesting since December 16, demanding action against the policemen who allegedly forcibly entered the university on December 15, and cracked down on the students, even in hostels.
Speaking with NewsClick, Sumayyah Khan, a student of BA LLB, said, "We are protesting on the campus since December 16 against the police brutality on AMU students, but the administration is suppressing our voices y sending show-cause notices to girls to prevent them from participating in the protest. Our protests against CAA/NRC will continue in a democratic way."
Raising questions on the university administration’s decision to allow the police inside the campus, some girls said, “Aren't we students? We were treated like terrorists or criminals by the police on December 15."
The protesting students demanded the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor and Registrar S Abdul Hamid, who had given permission to the police to enter the campus. “They themselves failed in controlling the situation and let the police beat us black and blue, as if we have committed some crimes,” the protesting students said.
On December 15, security forces had fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades inside the AMU campus in a bid to disperse a “peaceful” protest against the new citizenship law.
One of the protesting girl students also demanded that the government should withdraw all the FIRs lodged against AMU students and give compensation to the victims of police brutality, who are admitted in hospitals.
“We don’t want police inside the campus and the administration should respect the feelings of the protesting students. Until our demands are met, we will continue our protest in the campus,” said another girl student.
Meanwhile, AMU has further extended the winter break keeping in view the continuing protests. The university was to reopen on January 6.
According to an AMU notice, the decision to extend the vacations again was taken after a meeting chaired by the Vice-Chancellor on Wednesday. A detailed schedule for the reopening of the university "in a phased manner" will be notified after the review of the situation.
"I feel very bad for my friends who had booked their tickets for January 6. On January 1, the university administration suddenly notified that it will remain closed for an indefinite period and will open in a phased manner. It is a draconian act, the VC and the university administration clearly doesn't feel any remorse or apology for what happened on December 15. Instead, they fear the students. They fear the students coming back and continuing their agitation," Wardah Beg, another student told NewsClick.
Following the December 15 protest which allegedly turned violent, the district administration has booked five former students under the stringent Goonda Act. Some students who were not even in the city, are upset with the district administration's decision
On December 15 night, around two dozen students were arrested by the police as protests against CAA allegedly turned violent on the AMU campus. Nearly 70 students were injured when police entered the campus. Among these is one student, Tarique, whose palm had to be amputated after a tear gas shell, fired by the police, burst on his hand.