Citizenship Act: Jamia students call off lockdown; varsity announces vacation till Jan 5

Citizenship Act: Jamia students call off lockdown; varsity announces vacation till Jan 5

Jamia Millia Islamia students protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI photo

New Delhi, December 14

Jamia Millia Islamia students called off their university lockdown against the new citizenship law on Saturday, a day after violent protests rocked the campus area, even as the varsity cancelled exams and announced vacation till January 5 in view of the tension.

The university administration said those who indulged in violence and clashed with police on Friday were “outsiders” and not students.

Jamia students, teachers and alumni, said they have formed a coordination panel to hold peaceful protests against the amended Citizenship Act. They say the law is discriminatory.

The university had turned into a virtual battlefield on Friday when students and policemen clashed with each other as students tried to march to Parliament in protest against the legislation. The students had called for a lockdown of the university Saturday and planned to boycott exams.

But a senior university official said all exams at the university have been postponed and new dates will be announced in due course. The official said a vacation has been declared from Dec 16 to Jan 5 and the university will reopen on Jan 6 next year.

“The university would like to clarify and put the incident in proper perspective as to who were involved and why this happened. Thousands of people from nearby localities assembled at the site of the protest along with a section of students.

“The outsiders who have nothing to do with the university clashed with the police and not the students. In fact, the students tried to stop them from doing so. Students were caught in clashes resulting in injuries to some of them,” the university official said.

Earlier Saturday, before the university announced the decision to postponed exams, students shared their experience during the violent clash on Friday.

“Jamia will raise voice if anything wrong happens to our nation. We have boycotted classes and exams. We will march again and again for our rights,” Nihal Ashraf, a 25-year-old student.

Wajahat, a 22-year-old student of BA Political Science, said, “On Friday, the Delhi Police brutally attacked us while we were marching and many students got injured. They used baton and tear gas against students. We have boycotted the exam.”

“Everyone wants to live. This is not Israel or Syria. We should learn from Bangladesh how they killed extremism and opted for an economic democracy. The government is not focusing on main issues,” said Pappu Yadav, another student.

Jamia Teachers’ Association had also called an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee to discuss measures ahead of their protest against the contentious legislation. — PTI

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