New Delhi: Congress and other Opposition parties on Monday condemned the police "brutality" against students of Jamia Millia Islamia and demanded an inquiry by a Supreme Court judge into the incidents of students being thrashed in the campus.
At a press conference, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India's D Raja, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha, Samajwadi Party's Javed Ali Khan and Sharad Yadav condemned Sunday's police action against Jamia students who were protesting against the amended Citizenship Act.
"How could the police enter Jamia and unleash such brutality on the students when university authorities did not allow the police to enter inside," Azad asked.
"There should be a judicial probe into the violence against students by police in the Jamia campus," he said.
Azad also rejected the charges levelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Congress was behind the violent protests. "It is wrong to make such accusations and we condemn it," he said.
Yechury demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge in the incident. "Whoever gave the permission to allow the police to enter the Jamia campus should be brought to book and punished," he said.
He said it was not a Hindu-Muslim issue and asked people not to fall prey to rumours as the act was an affront to the Constitution.
"It is the ruling party and Government of India which are behind the violence. Had the government not brought in this law, there would not have been such violence. It is the prime minister, home minister and the Cabinet who are responsible for this violence" he alleged.
Raja said that those who gave the orders for police entry in Jamia should be brought to book and punished.
"There is a civil war-like situation in the country for which Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the prime minister should be held responsible," Raja said.
"Amit Shah must be held responsible for such brutality by the police. What is the response of the home minister, where is he," Raja asked.
He termed the situation as horrific and alleged that the entire North East, East India and the entire country had plunged in turmoil.
Raja added that the Left parties would hold a countrywide protest on December 19 and appealed to all secular and democratic forces to join the agitation.
Yechury said they would take this movement forward across India and added that they condemned any kind of violence. He said police entering a university without permission was unacceptable in a democracy.
He said there was turmoil in three central universities in Delhi and it was because of government interference. "It is an ideological project for the BJP," Yechury said, asking where was the home minister.
RJD's Manoj Jha said that the legislative majority had tried to decimate constitutional morality. Whatever has happened in Jamia, history will not forgive, he added.
He said a call has been given for Bihar Bandh on December 21.
Sibal said a commission of inquiry led by a Supreme Court judge should be set up to probe how the violence took place.
He accused the home minister of making "untrue" claims. "When a home minister speaks 'untruth' before a country for votebank politics and creates a wedge between Hindus and Muslims, it is a very shameful thing for the country," Sibal said.
Sharad Yadav said that either the government or the amended act would remain in place and added the opposition was not going to stop here.