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Solidarity statement by Hyderabad Muslim Women’s Forum against the police action on students of Jamia Milia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University

Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi became the centre of students protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act which was passed in the parliament last week. Even Aligarh Muslim University students were protesting against this Act. On 15th December 2019, the JMIU students were protesting peacefully within the campus. They did not even go near the barricades put by the police personnel. The police entered in the campus without permission and started assaulting students who were protesting peacefully against the Citizenship Amendment Act. First they closed the roads from Kalindi Kunj to Ashram so that the students cannot escape. They entered the hostels and attacked students, shelled tear gas in the library and attacked students praying in the Masjid, thereby terrorizing them. Girl students had to hide themselves in the toilets due to fear of molestation as the lights were put off!

Hyderabad Muslim Women’s Forum strongly condemns the brutal attacks on the students of Jamia Milia Islamia on 15th December 2019, marching in a peaceful protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (2019) inside their University’s Campus. The police and CRPF personnel entered the Campus without permission from the University authorities. They started attacking the students with lathis, threw tear gas inside the library and entered hostels to beat up students and vandalize student property. Those praying inside a Masjid were also not spared. Most shamefully, women students hiding in fear inside washrooms were molested after switching off the electricity.

According to the students, these actions were all pre-planned since the police first closed the roads from Kalindi Kunj to Ashram leading to the University, so that they would be helplessly trapped. Images and videos used by news agencies and circulating widely on the internet and social media show policemen involved in burning buses and other senseless, unwarranted acts of violence. In fact, these videos also appear to have men who were not wearing proper police uniforms and mercilessly thrashing the students. It is being reported that these men may belong to fascist forces who opportunistically joined the police in attacking these young students.

Following this barbaric attack, a large number of students were illegally detained in police stations. Their mobile phones were snatched away and lawyer-friends were not allowed to visit them. According to news reports, over 200 students are severely injured and several are in critical condition. This was followed by similar brutal attacks on students at Aligarh Muslim University. Flash bombs, tear gas shelling and firing was carried out against students inside the AMU campus. They are being intimidated and threatened, curfew has been imposed and internet services are being blocked.

The Citizenship Amendment Act goes against the letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution, which enshrines the right to equality and protects all its citizens against discrimination. The Citizenship Amendment Act now gives illegal immigrants from six religious communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan the right to acquire Indian citizenship. However, it excludes minorities who claim to be Muslims (such as Hazara, Ahmediya etc.). Vast numbers of citizens across the country have protested and continue to speak out against this discriminatory and divisive aspect as well.

It should be clear to all civic-minded people that peaceful demonstrations and protests constitute the very fabric of a democratic country. Such public protests by our students or any other individual does not constitute criminal conduct. This, the inhuman, senseless and cowardly acts by the police and the CRPF are highly condemnable. As citizens none of us can and should tolerate this high handedness of the state and the police whose duty in fact is to protect the people they serve and uphold the laws of our country. We extend our whole hearted support to all the courageous and brave students who stood up on behalf of all the citizens of our country. It is young women and men like them who continue to inspire the rest of us and hold out hope for the future of our country.

Hyderabad Muslim Women’s Forum

Khalida Parveen, Activist

Sherin B.S., EFL University

Marjan, Research Scholar

Farzana Khan, Activist

Asiya Khan, Activist

Nazia Akhtar, Research Scholar

Moqheeta, Social Worker

Rubina Nafees, Safa NGO

Nikhat Fatima, Activist

Mandakini, Advocate

Sharifa Siddiqui, Counsellor

Asiya Shervani

Kaneez Fathima, Civil Rights Activist

Sajida Sultana, Academic

Suneetha A., Research Scholar

Asma Rasheed, EFL University

Ayesha Ameer

Raheela Farooq Khan

Ayesha Farooqui, Retd. Professor

Noorjahan Siddiqui, My Choices

Salma Begum, Advocate

Shahnaz Ilyas, Activist

Sana Abdul Wahhab, Advocate


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