Press Statements

Police has no place in a University

Peaceful Protest cannot be Criminalized

New Delhi (8 May 2011): About ten students of Jamia Millia Islamia have been sitting on hunger strike since yesterday (7th May 2011) demanding that they be allowed to sit for their annual examinations. While one may concur or disagree with the demands of the students, what is indisputable is that their protest was entirely peaceful: no stone was thrown, no windows were broken, no building ransacked, no property destroyed, no violence resorted to. And yet, when the students reeling under the May sun decided to pitch a canopy for protection against the heat, a posse of policemen from the Jamia Nagar police station led by the SHO descended on them and manhandled the students, including female students. They were abused, slapped, punched and kicked. Notably, there was only one female police personnel, who stood by while her male colleagues indulged in physical and verbal violence. 

We are of the firm belief that university campuses cannot be run like cantonements. The administration cannot engage with its students—whether it believes their demands justified or not—through the police, nor can it take away the democratic right to peacefully protest.

Released by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
www.teacherssolidarity.org

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