The testimonies from those present in Jamia Milia Islamia University on Sunday, suggest that the police targetted individuals indiscriminately, even entering the mosque on campus and hurting a local cleric.
As India continues to seethe over the violence in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University on Sunday evening, eyewitnesses have now attested to the brutal crackdown of the Delhi Police on Jamia students.
India Today Group Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai visited the Jamia campus and surrounding areas and spoke to those who witnessed the troubling incidents of Sunday.
Many Jamia students who gathered on Monday in the university to protest the actions of the Delhi Police, held that policemen entered the campus forcibly and fired at innocent bystanders — students who were studying in the university library and were not part of the protest or agitation outside as previously claimed.
The testimonies from those present in Jamia on Sunday, suggest that the police targetted individuals indiscriminately, even entering the mosque on campus and hurting a local cleric.
‘We were simply studying in the library’
Recounting the police attack in the university library, videos of which have now gone viral on social media, one Jamia student said, “There were 50-60 students in the library. When the police started lobbing teargas towards the library, the students came upstairs and roughly 15 mins later, the police entered the campus by force. They broke the doors of the library and started shelling tear gas.”
Showing his bandaged and bloodied knee and arms, the student said he was lucky enough to escape a head injury.
He said that the students in the library were not part of any protest.
Another student said Delhi Police pulled women in the library by their hair and thrashed them.
He also alleged that his uncle, a security guard in Jamia was beaten up the police when he tried to save a local imam.
The Delhi Police has claimed that Sunday’s crackdown was in response to arson and stone-pelting by protestors who entered the Jamia campus. Many police officers were also injured in the clash.
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When the Jamia students were asked who was responsible for pelting stones at the police officers, they said any pelting that happened was done in “self-defense” but only by outsiders.
Another eyewitness, Talib, who was in the university when the violence broke out that before the police entered the Jamia campus, there was no provocation from the students.
“I was here yesterday afternoon, the students were simply studying. There was no sloganeering and stone pelting before the police entered. The police were chasing some protestors who were outside and without any provocation entered the campus,” Talib said.
“They [Delhi Police] manhandled campus security. They entered the library and lobbed teargas shells. When the students tried to hide under desks, the police hit them with those desks,” he added.
Disagreeing with the Delhi Police’s version, Talib said that no outside protestor entered the Jamia campus as the university gates had been locked from inside.
Police beat imam, army man
Another harrowing account from Sunday is of one Mohammad Irshad Khan, a guard in the Jamia campus and a former army man.
Khan said that he was guarding the gate of the Jamia campus when police entered the premise and headed towards the local mosque.
“I was giving duty on the gate when the police entered and headed for the mosque. The imam (cleric) was in the mosque. I tried to appeal to the police to not enter the mosque and leave the imam,” he said.
“The police caught hold of the imam and when I tried to free him, I was abused and they kept beating me as they dragged me from the mosque to the ground,” Khan added.
Source: India Today