The Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU) has come up with a report after conducting its own inquiry into the violence that took place on campus on the night of December 15, 2019. The report squarely blames the university administration for being in cahoots with the police and Rapid Action Force (RAF), for virtually allowing them to unleash brutality against students.
The report also reiterates that the previous protests had been peaceful and the violence at the post-Jamia protest was the result of unknown outsiders infiltrating the protest and causing violence in a bid to give the security forces a reason to retaliate with even more violence.
Describing the unwarranted use of violence, the report alleges that the police did not follow standard operating procedures for crowd control and instead resorted to extreme measures at the very outset itself. It says, “They did not warn or go by the standard way of dispersing crowds. They chose tear gas shelling over water cannons, which could (have) done the job perfectly. They directly fired at students like an invading army does. In complete violation of standard manual, police used pistols, rifles and stun grenade on students. Reports of pellet gun use have also been in public domain. Police made sure that the eear (sic) gas shells, sound blasts and Lathis rain on the students. Videos have recorded the use of stun grenades, rifles, stone pelting, abusive language and religious slurs, ruthless beating by the police and other forces. In a widely circulated video on social media, RAF men are seen pointing rifles straight at boys. This may be known that students were hit above the waist height.”
There are also allegations that a section of the security forces that include the RAF also used objectionable language and religious slurs while beating students. The report alleges, “Besides, physical violence, police was specific in verbal violence. They forced students to recite Jai Sri Ram, and other Hindu slogans. The used the words like Pakistani, Desh Drohi, Sala, Maa…., aatankawadi and others specifically to students both during torture in campus and in hospital and during detention. Students were told not to condemn CAA as it was anti-national to do so.”
Ethnic targeting of Kashmiri student
A Kashmiri student Shahid Hussain was one of the students who was smoked out of room number 46 of Morrison Court hostel where AMU administration alleged that the masterminds of the operation were holed up. But the AMUSU report paints a different picture saying, “Shahid Hussian, a student of MA History at Centre for Advanced History of Aligarh Muslim University. He was taken out from room no. 46 of Morrison Court and beaten inside the hostel. He was dragged into the police van and asked about his domicile state. Once he told them that he was from Jammu and Kashmir, he was tied to a tree and beaten for 10 minutes by police using Lathis and Gun butts. He was ethnically targeted and called names. He was called a Pakistani and was told that he is being Azaad with every whip of the stick. He was brutalized and sent to illegal detention. His mobile was broken and taken away. He was kept in a dark room for the night without any humanitarian aid. He had torture marks from head to toe. JNMC doctors had to capture 16 X-Rays to assess his conditions.”
AMU administration’s alleged role
The report saves some of the most scathing commentary for the AMU administration saying, “Mr. Tariq Mansoor, Vice Chancellor of AMU gave approval to police to enter the campus and hunt down the peacefully protesting students of the university. AMU became a military garrison.” The report adds, “AMU administration created a narrative of possible communal riots the next day and an acute fear psychosis engulfed the university, and the students were asked to leave the place without delay. Phone calls were not being responded by the registrar or Vice Chancellor. A false propaganda was manufactured by AMU administration that there is a threat to university and students. The fact remains that the AMU administration wanted to choke the peaceful dissenting voices in the campus of Aligarh Muslim University that had unnerved the Union Government. In line with the wishes of the state, AMU administration wanted to curb AMU students from raising their genuine voice against the unconstitutional Citizenship (Amendment) Act.”
The entire report may be read here: