‘We Were Brutally Beaten’: Jamia Students Talk About Violence on Campus

Unrest at Jamia Milia Islamia over Israeli participation in an event has still not subsided.

Last night, the situation escalated when around 15-20 outsiders, students say, barged into the campus and started beating up students at the protest site. The students have alleged that they are backed by the administration. The security guards, students say, are also complicit as they didn’t intervene.

“There were over 40 security guards at the protest site but they didn’t do anything to stop the violence. We requested them to intervene but they stayed silent. Lathis, belts and flower pots were used to attack and intimidate us. We were brutally beaten. Some students fainted and one of them is currently in the ICU,” a student said.

The administration allegedly deployed a rapid action force and locked all the exit gates. The gates, however, were opened today morning.

The police said that they didn’t enter the university gate last night, PTI reported.

“No one was detained and we have not received any complaint in this regard, said a police official.

LiveWire has sent an email to the proctor seeking clarification on all the allegations raised by the students. This copy shall be updated with his response as and when he does.

Sequence of events

Yesterday, at around noon, over 1,000 students had gheraoed the vice chancellor’s office to put across their charter of demands which are as follows:

  • Revocation of show cause notice sent to five students who were protesting against the administration for inviting a delegate from Israel for a college event. Israel, students say, has committed large-scale human rights violation against Palestinians.
  • Complete boycott of intellectuals and academicians from Israel
  • Disciplinary action against the security guards and members of the proctorial team who manhandled students on the day when the protest started i.e. October 5.
  • No action against students who agitate and organise protests on the campus

After some time, the university advisor came out and said that the administration will look into the matter, students said. Later in the evening, a scuffle broke out where many students were manhandled and beaten up by a group of outsiders. However, no action was taken against them.

Students allege that the outsiders, who also include some current students, have physically abused students and have gotten away in the past as well.

“A few months ago, these people did the same on the campus and no action was taken. They freely walk around the campus, live in the hostels and go about physically assaulting the students every now and then. This isn’t the first time and we all can easily identify them,” said the student.

Hence, the students didn’t budge and continued the protest. Later, at around 2:30 am, the advisor, two members of the Jamia teacher’s association and the SHO came down to talk to the protestors, said a student who received a show cause notice. Until then, the violence had subsided.

The student representative read out the charter of demands (listed above) and also asked them to rusticate those behind the violence. According to the student, the administration said that they will look into the matter on the condition that the students withdraw the protest.

“They asked us to end the protest and said that no action will be taken against the students who were issued the show cause notice. However, they said that they won’t revoke the notice. And this was only a verbal assurance, no official statement was released,” said the student.

Today is the tenth day of agitation and students have gathered in the campus to further press their demands. Students say that the canteen is shut and no classes are going on at the moment.

“We won’t end the protest unless all are demands are met,” said one student.

Featured image by special arrangement