Kerala House in Delhi opens doors to Jamia, AMU students stranded after CAA protests

The students contacted Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, who then instructed that all of them be accommodated at Kerala House.
Kerala House in Delhi opens doors to Jamia, AMU students stranded after CAA protests
Kerala House in Delhi opens doors to Jamia, AMU students stranded after CAA protests

Several students from Kerala who are currently studying at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University found refuge at Delhi’s Kerala House after the university shut down hostels on the two campuses following protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. The students were stranded when the university’s hostels were shut down after protests against the Act turned violent.

A Kerala House official told TNM that around 60 of them were given shelter at Kerala House as well as hostels located around the government accommodation. The students, who hail from various districts across Kerala, contacted Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office, who then instructed that all of them be accommodated at the official state mission of the Kerala government. Since the Kerala House has a limited number of rooms, some students were also shifted to hostels located near the government house. A source in Kerala House told TNM that the government will make arrangements for the students to travel back to Kerala.

"It was on Sunday evening that we the students of AMU also protested. We were doing it peacefully but the police began using tear gas and resorted to lathicharge even before we reached even near the barricade. We didn’t provoke them. The police began to brutally attacking us and even hit on our heads. The students went back to their rooms after the protest. But the police dragged students out of the rooms, they set two hostel rooms on fire, set beds also fire, vandalized the windows which were locked,” Charutha, a second year graduate student of AMU told TNM. She is one among the students who have been housed in the Kerala House.

The hostel authorities took the stand they wont be able to protect the students anymore.
“By Monday afternoon, we got call from Kerala House officials to reach Delhi somehow so that we will be accommodated at Kerala House. There were no regular buses at that time. We were afraid to travel by train. We made the University provide us with a bus service till Delhi and by night we reached Kerala House. The officials there were waiting to receive us. They had made all arrangements, and everything, including food, is free. We are at the safest place now. IUML leader Mohammed Bahseer met the Railway Minister today and the latter agreed to provide an extra compartment in Managla Express to Kerala tomorrow. We all will be traveling to Kerala on it,” Charutha added.

Protests that were being held against the Citizenship Amendment Act grew violent on Sunday after four public buses and two police vehicles were torched. Protesters clashed with police in New Friends' Colony near Jamia University during a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act. 

Jamia University later turned into a battlefield as police entered the campus and used teargas, beat up staff members and students, who were then forced to leave the campus. Several students have also alleged that the police entered the campus library and rounded up students and lathi-charged them as well. Several students were taken to the Holy Faith City Hospital nearby with injuries. Later, protests were also held at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and the students mounted a violent protest against the police crackdown on students in Jamia Milia. Here too, the police used tear gas shells and lathi-charged students to disperse the mob. Angry policemen were also seen breaking the motorbikes parked outside the AMU campus, reports stated.

Following the violence, both universities then announced winter vacations till January 5, 2020.

On Monday, thousands of students from campuses across India took to the streets in solidarity with the students from the two universities and demanded a probe into the violence at both Jamia University and AMU.

(With inputs from Saritha S Balan)

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