Statement of Lok Raj Sangathan, Dec 16, 2019

LRS strongly condemns the brutal attack by the CRPF and Delhi Police on students of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi on 15th December causing serious injuries to over 150 students. Scores of students have also been arrested. According to media reports and eye witness accounts, the brutal attack of the police forces was unwarranted as the students were peacefully protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and the NRC. 

India gate

Aligarh

Protests in New Delhi (above) and Aligarh (below)

The Vice Chancellor and the Proctor of Jamia Millia Islamia University have condemned the fact that the Police forces entered into the University campus without permission from the University authorities. It has been reported that the police forces entered the Zakir Hussain Library inside JMI University and beat up any young person found there without any proof that they had participated in the earlier student protest. Even scholars working inside the library were harassed. The police forces reportedly ransacked the hostels and the library, beating anyone they found causing severe injuries.

It has also been reported that students of Delhi University who protested against the violence unleashed against fellow students of AMU and Jamia Millia were once again beaten mercilessly by the Delhi Police.

Student protests against the CAA and NRC have been reported from across the country and aggressive police action has been reported in many states.

LRS condemns this use of state machinery by the present Central Government to suppress and silence student’s voices and stifle and crush the protests of ordinary citizens against the anti-people CAA and NRC. The use of police powers arbitrarily to crush protests in Delhi and other places is part of the growing trend of using brutal police powers to intimidate and stifle any protest exposing the anti-people nature of polices of the central government.

LRS also strongly condemns the reported statement of the Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Seetharaman, that we have to be “wary that the student protests are not hijacked by Jihadists, Maoists or separatists”. The attempt of the State to dub and link any citizen’s protest as being Jihadist, Maoist or separatist is done with the aim to not only tarnish the image of the democratic protests but also to put fear into those who join the protests.

It is also condemnable that the Chief Justice of India remarked, “Let the rioting stop first … We will determine the rights, but not in this atmosphere of riots … the riots must be stopped”. It is a matter of shame that a peaceful protest by students should be declared a “riot” and the police deployed to deal with it like a “riot”. It is sad to note that instead of putting an end to the unjustified violence of the police forces resulting in the threat to life and liberty of students, the Supreme Court laid the blame on the protesting students. Instead of enforcing the principle of command responsibility and identifying the real culprits, the Court has unfairly blamed the students.

Lok Raj Sangathan calls upon all organisations and individuals who stand for justice and democracy to raise their voice collectively in defence of the students.

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