We are not Terrorised: In a democratic country like India people enjoy the freedom of expression adhering to the constitution. Article 19 (1)(b) guarantees to all the citizens of India the right to assemble peaceably and without arms. This includes the right to hold meetings and to take out processions. When the unconstitutional Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was passed in both the houses of the parliament and became Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), people from different corners of the country came out to oppose it.
Widespread protests broke out across India only because of the fact that the newly enacted law will provide citizenship to minority communities Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Budhist and Jain coming from three neighboring countries Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have suffered religious persecution there. India is a democratic country and no one can be discriminated on the basis of religion, caste, creed and colour.
We welcome all the people who suffered religious persecution there but the question is, why from these three countries only? Muslim and Hindu in Myanmar and Tamil Hindus in Srilanka have gone through the same pain. Atheist in Bangladesh and Shia and Ahmadiyah sects of Pakistan have the same story of religious hatred against them. Indian tradition of generosity has not been so niggard. Why protective umbrella of law leaves them out? This law is definitely an assault on the very foundational values of the Indian Constitution.
Just because a political party has majority in both the houses of the parliament it can not pass any law which hurts the soul of our country. Union Home Minister, Amit Shah has repeatedly made it clear that the CAA will be implemented in conjunction with the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC). It has created doubts and added more fuel to the fire. This has provoked the fear not in Muslim community only but in Dalit also. No doubt by this twin pincer operation Muslims would be made more vulnerable than any other communities as for non-muslims left out from the NRC they will be saved on the basis of the CAA.
But at first, every single man and woman are supposed to prove their citizenship. This is nothing but a Joke with people of India. As per 2011 census report 30 crore people are landless, 70 lakh people are homeless, 8 crore and 43 lakh people are tribals. It will not be easy for them to prove their citizenship due to lack of required documents. So if they fail to bring the documents and they happened to be non-muslims they will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in six years. But unfortunately if they are Muslims they will not be considered Indians and no citizenship will be given to them as per new Law. They will be sent to detention center.
So directly or indirectly it is Muslim who is going to suffer and it is Muslim who is being asked to prove their citizenship. This is nothing but divisive and discriminatory. This is against the preamble of the Constitution which talks about liberty, equality and fraternity. This law clearly denies the Muslims right. This law singles out one particular religion, Islam, for particularly spiteful treatment.
Knowing the fact and dirty political intention behind this discriminatory law, Jamia’s revolutionary students organised a peaceful protest to fight against injustice, inequality and sacrilege of the cherished values of our freedom fighters.
I was also part of the protest. Students were protesting on M.A Jauhar Road near Maulana Abul Kalam Azad gate. Some students inside the university gate and some outside and many were just mute spectators.
Around 4 pm protest was called off and I returned back to library. There was no scuffle and no stone pelting till I was there. It was completely a peaceful protest.
I do not know who were there at Mathura Road and near Gurdwara where clashes erupted and buses were set on fire. Initially, Jamia was blamed but recently a report published saying that Jamia students were not involved in the violent protest. I condemn violence. There is no place for violence in the protest. I do not have any sympathy for those who throw stones.
Whatever happened at Mathura Road is extremely unacceptable. No one knows who set buses and vehicles on fire.
Distance between Jamia Millia Islamia and Mathura Road is about 3 km. I do not understand why the police came to Jamia following local protestors. And if they came to Jamia why they entered the campus without any prior permission? Protestors were already dispersed by the police near Mathura Road. So why they need to use brut force inside the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia.
I can not forget the horrific night when our university was brutally attacked by the central government led Delhi Police. It was so terrible that even today I haven’t fully recovered from the traumas suffered on that black sunday night. The Police entered the campus and started beating students mercilessly whomsoever came on their way. Jamia Old library is close to the main gate. Many students were reading there as their exams were at hand.
The Cops barged inside the library abusing security personnels who are retired Army Jawans. They did not show any respect to them. They unleashed the utmost brutality on students. I saw students lying inside bathroom with their hands and legs fractured. Students were bleeding. Girls were crying.
The Police then barged inside the reading section of the new library. They burst teargas shells inside the library. It was so sudden that no one could understand the situation. Students were running from Pillar to post to hide leaving their bags and laptops. Books were scattered around the floor.
A pall of terror and fear prevailed inside the library. It was not the same safe place where we used to study. There were fearful screams of girls and boys. It was difficult to breathe due to suffocation as there was smoke of the tear gas all around. I do not know how I managed to escape.
Whatever I witnessed, I can not put it on paper. I can not sketch the fearful faces of girls that I saw helplessly. I can not write the frightened voices and screams of my juniors. I can not write the inhuman treatment meted out to students inside the campus by the Delhi Police whose slogan is ‘Shanti, Sewa and Nyay’ (Peace, Service and Justice).
I am unable to understand how can police be so inimical to students? Delhi Police has been used apparently as a tool to spread violence inside the campus. The police not only beat the students, they were breaking each and everything. They vandalized the entrance gate of Zakir Hussain Library. Window glasses, chairs and tables were broken.
Laptops and mobile were crushed. Books were scattered all around. They Smashed the parked vehicles with lathis. The Police can be seen clearly hitting motorcycles in a video photographed clandestinely.
This destruction was done by none other than the Police. Many students were treated like a terrorist. They were asked to walk out from library raising their hands.
It was done to terrorise students so that they don’t dare to ask questions. But see what happened next. More students came out on the road. Modi Government now should understand that our will is much stronger than all the lathis, tear gases and pellet guns in its arsenal.
Mohammed Raihan is a Research Scholar from Jamia Millia Islamia.
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