New Delhi: The Aligarh police have lodged an FIR against at least 150 unnamed people, including students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jamia Millia Islamia, in connection with a protest in Shah Jamal area on January 23, against the newly-enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the proposed all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The police said that the protest, organised mainly by women, was in violation of Section 144 (prohibiting assembly of more than four people) that was imposed in the district at that time. Police, however, said the protestors had been given permission only for two days, therefore,
Thursday's protest was illegal.
Apart from 150 un-named people, the police also detained a Delhi-based journalist, Shaheen Abdullah, near the Eidgah at Shah Jamal locality while he was covering the ongoing protest by women on Thursday.
Abdullah, who works for Maktub Media, a news website and is a student at Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, was later released at Thana Delhi Gate after a large number of protesters started gathering there.
"I had taken permission for coverage of the protest from the District Administration but suddenly a few cops approached me when I was shooting a video and questioned me. I told them I was a journalist with Maktub Media and a student of Jamia as well. Once they heard the name of Jamia, they said I was a terrorist as I come from Jamia. They interrogated me more and when they came to know I was from Kerala, they abused me more," Abdullah told NewsClick.
He said he showed the police his university and press identity card, “but that did not deter them from detaining me and two other persons who were accompanying me.”
Meanwhile, SSP Aligarh, Akash Kulhari told PTI that Abdullah was legally detained under Section 151 of IPC as he was trying to breach peace.
Since the past four days, a large number of women had been protesting inside the Eidgah complex against CAA and NRC.
Commenting on the FIR against 150 people, including students of AMU and Jamia, Huzaifa Aamir Rashadi, former secretary AMU Students Union told NewsClick, "(UP chief minister) Yogi Adityanath had said that those protesting against CAA will be dealt strongly that their seven generations would remember, and now the police, at his behest, is detaining students, women, are lathi-charging and not even hesitating to fire bullets to mute our voices. They forget that the more they suppress our voice, the faster it will emerge."
Accusing the UP police for not allowing people to protest in a democratic manner, the former AMUSU secretary said; "This is not the first time that an FIR has been registered against 150 people. Last week, dozens of women from the city were booked for taking out a protest march against CAA."
On January 18, the Aligarh police registered a case against 70 burqa-clad unidentified women for taking out a protest march against CAA in the city after Friday namaz.
Meanwhile, women students of AMU boycotted classes on Monday, demanding the resignation of the vice-chancellor Tarique Mansroo, Registrar Abdul Hamid and proctor over the university's failure to protect students from police brutality and excess on the campus on December 15.
The women students, who later took out a protest march on the campus chanting "azadi" slogans, also announced that their boycott would continue till these officials stepped down.
"Every department of university boycotting the classes and it will continue until vice-chancellor and proctor step down from their post. The proctor too should take responsibility for its failure as police entered inside premises and beat students. All the cases against students should be revoked," a student, requesting anonymity, told NewsClick.
Meanwhile, hundreds of students took out a protest march against the amended CAA on the university campus on Tuesday, raising slogans of "CAA se Azaadi" and vowing to boycott classes until their demands are met.
The protesters, including girls and schoolchildren, belonging to the schools within the campus, began their march from the Purani Chungi and culminated it at the Babey Sir Syed gate of the university.
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, exploded on his hand.