Students strike in Jamia against raid on independence day eve ends, admin concedes to demands

Chanya Jaitly

jamia3On 13 August, Delhi Police personnel and some unknown people in plain clothes barged into Jamia Millia Islamia University hostels. Later on, students got to to know that IB ( Intelligence bureau) officials were also present in the team. The administration knew about the Delhi Police personnel but had no idea about interference from IB. The administration stated that they had no idea about the raid but the same administration stated that this was just a “routine exercise” . The students were already warned that there will be a raid or a search soon, by their care takers. Even then, the officials were supposed to meet the proctor but that didn’t happen.

“It felt like it was an attack on the autonomy of this institution”, a JMI student said. “We felt like criminals. They barged into our hostel rooms. Some boys didn’t open their doors, so they could not go in”, another JMI student said.

This infuriated the students and led to a massive protest by the students. The students had been protesting since August 13, the day on which this “raid” was conducted. The students decided to sit at the main gate till the time the administration accepts all of their demands. The proctorial department has written to deputy commissioner of police (South East – District) to take strong actions against the officials. The Chief Proctor Professor Mehtab Alam, also apologised to the students and assured that students’ security is there utmost priority. They also accepted that this raid was because of a security lapse and assured that it will never happen again.

jamia6The students also felt that their university is a “soft target”. They asked why such raids were not conducted in other universities before independence day and why only some specific students were attacked. The VC also made some controversial remarks during the protest. He refused that there was a raid by IB.

“There was no police raid and that the police never entered hostel premises. Their presence was a part of routine verification in connection with the Independence Day. It was being wrongly projected that police had entered the hostel”, Vice Chancellor Professor, Talat Ahmed addressed the students who were protesting.

He also told the students to focus on their studies and should not care about who enters the hostels and who leaves.

However, on 17 August, the students finally had a victory march. Their demands were accepted by the administration.
“I am disturbed at the recent incident on the campus on 13 August, 2016. Some students have been protesting against the unauthorized presence of four police personnel in plain clothes outside the Hall of Residence for Boys, which was a security lapse. I empathise with the students for the hardships they have faced during this period”, the Proctor wrote in the letter. He also assured the students that i) the safety and security of all Jamia students is the utmost priority. ii) all preventive measures will be undertaken to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future iii) no disciplinary action will be taken against any student protesting above incident. The students also demanded that the VC should explain the incident and conduct a press conference but this demand was left on VC’s wisdom.



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