AMU Students Union Report Calls Police Action a "State Sponsored Terror"
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 25— Giving chilling details about police brutality in its fact finding report running into 32 pages, the Aligarh Muslim University Students Union (AMUSU) has termed the police action on AMU students on December 15 as “state sponsored terror”.
The report said that students’ protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill from December 8 till the afternoon of December 15, was completely peaceful. After the news of police crackdown on Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students reached AMU, the students came to the main gate of the university to stage their protest.
What happened in the next few hours was "state sponsored terror unleashed on AMU students”, AMUSU report titled “Protest Against Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 & The Unleashing of State Terror in AMU”, said.
“Police and other state forces resorted to use of disproportionate force against students. A massive crackdown was unleashed against AMU students with full information and approval of AMU Vice Chancellor. Students were tortured, bombed and hunted. AMU was turned into a police garrison,” says the report.
Excerpts From AMUSU Report:
The videos available in the public domain clearly reflect that Police did not adopt the approach that they had adopted the in the Friday’s protests, two days back, when students, amid sloganeering, submitted a memorandum. That Friday, Police SSP was seen making announcements on microphones and engaging with the protestors. This time police did not want to engage with protestors, neither did they want to disperse them. They had made their mind for violence.
Police violated the SOP throughout. Or there was no SOP followed at all. They did not warn or go by the standard way of dispersing crowds. They chose tear gas shelling over water cannons, which could 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 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. It was an unprecedented scene and students had to run for the safety of their lives.
Police also fired at Salman Imtiaz, the President AMUSU (2018-19) at his chest leading to sever breathing problems for him being an asthmatic. He was hit because his presence could have managed the peaceful gathering. Earlier, on Friday, when he was leading the march 5 time more in size, he managed it peacefully. The attack on AMUSU president was to make sure that student leadership is made defunct from the word go and violence is done as per the Polices’ will.
The direct shelling on students led to mass casualty and dozens of students got wounded. Mr. Salman Imtiaz, AMUSU president called upon Dr. Mohammad Hamzah, who heads the JNMC Resident Doctors’ Association to activate trauma centre for mass causality, and send ambulances with doctors for help. Dr. Hamzah approached the CMO of the Trauma Centre, who denied sending the ambulances and said that the Proctor of AMU has directed not to do so. Dr. Hamzah forced the CMO to send three ambulances to Bab-e-Syed. He also arranged 16 additional ambulances from private owners. Twenty ambulances were ferrying injured students from Bab-e Syed to JNMCH. In total, they made four rounds to save the lives of students. The efforts and contribution by Doctor’s Association was exemplary.
The sheer magnitude of force from police makes it absolutely clear that they had no intent to disperse the protestors; their thrust and intent was to beat the students, humiliate them and inflict maximum damage. To make it sure, police went from hostel to hostel, and dragged students by their hairs from their rooms. They barged into the washrooms and toilets and beat students black and blue and afterwards even detained them. It was an Israeli war room at display. Police damaged the public property, private vehicles of the students, windows and doors of the hostels. They broke the main hall gates as well. Not only students, ambulance drivers, medical professionals (including Dr. Kashif, Secretary RDA), AMU employees and many of the AMU gate keepers were hurt or ruthlessly beaten to pulp. Ambulances were stopped and broken. One ICU ambulance was broken by five police men. More than 30 students were illegally detained, which according to witnesses included juvenile students as well. We have little information about our students, as the campus has been deserted.
In Room No. 46 of Morison Court, Aftab Hall, 500 yards away from protest site, police broke the door of the room in which four students and a gate keeper were hiding to save their lives from police aggression. Police fired two tear shells and a sound shell into the room that led to the fire in the room. The insiders were forced to come out and were mercilessly beaten. The visuals of beating students at the gate of Morrison Court have been captured by CCTVs. Police detained all of them including Shahid Hussain, a student from Jammu and Kashmir whose story appeared in the Indian Express’s student’s page.
Police stormed the guest houses near Sir Syed Gate and tortured whoever came their way. They broke the door of a toilet where nine students were hiding from the police. Before the door was broken, one student Tazeem Khan issued an audio SOS on whatsapp, calling for help amid fears of death. He cried and repeatedly said that boys are being tortured and that he and his friends are next to face the police brutality. Police broke in and caught the students. They were beaten with rods and gun butts. They were abused and scolded. They were asked to go to Pakistan and stay away from the protests against the new citizenship act (the crux of police aggression in AMU). They were taunted as anti-nationals. Students revealed that the language of the police was so abusive that it cannot be made public.
Police also went deep into the campus, broke the bikes and stole the mobile phones. They damaged the university property. There are videos available in public domain where police can be seen vandalising property and hurling choicest invectives. Police also took away bikes of students from library and elsewhere. At SS Hall South, hundreds of students slept on the roof top of the hall to save their lives from the police brutalities.
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.
The AMU Students Union has called upon the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, who is the Visitor to the University, to visit the campus and meet the injured students.
They have also called upon AMU Court Members to hold a session to condemn the police brutality in the campus and set accountability in 15th December episode.
The AMUSU has also demanded withdrawal of CAA, resignation of Tariq Mansoor, AMU Vice Chancellor, Abdul Hamid IPS, Registrar and the entire Proctrial team for “their mishandling of the affairs of AMU.”
Their other demands include:
-- A high-level enquiry by the sitting judge of Supreme Court of India in the 15th December violence at AMU.
-- Government jobs as per profile of the students who have been grievously injured in the brutal police action.
-- Immediate revocation of farcical charges against AMU Students and registration of FIR against the police.
Aligarh Police Denies Charges of Brutality
However, the Aligarh police have denied the charges made in the report and said minimum force was used for self-defence.
Aligarh (City) SP Abhishek told The Indian Express: “Police personnel might have used stun grenades… In terms of how many stun grenades were used… it can only be concluded after a probe. We have clippings of students throwing back tear gas shells. The stun grenades are non-lethal and only produce sound impact which can be used to disperse crowd.”