Surrounded by over 100 police officials, undaunted by instructions from the management to call it off, students of Madras University continued protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act for hours on the campus. The protests on Tuesday intensified after the police detained and refused to release two students from the campus.
The protests began at 11 am and was being held against both the controversial Act and to condemn the manner in which students at the Jamia Millia University were assaulted by the police. Through the day students chanted slogans, had musical performances and lead a non violent demonstration. While around 10 police personnel were stationed in the campus, they watched as protests went on.
At 1.30 pm however, tensions rose when 80 students who were marching via the beach road to the University to express solidarity were detained by the police. In addition to this, two students from the campus - Subbiah, who is pursuing his Masters in Public Administration and Karthikeyan- who is pursuing his Masters in Political Science were detained and taken to the Triplicane police station for 'enquiry'.
Bhumika, a photographer who witnessed the police action told TNM that the police assaulted the students.
"They used their lathis to hit the students when they refused to get into the police vehicle. They dragged them by the collar and took them forcefully," she tells TNM.
This intensified protests and following this, Inspector GK Venkatkumar who was at the campus assured protestors that the students will be released soon. Unconvinced, students then marched up to meet the Registrar and Vice Chancellor.
However, after the meet Valarmathi, a student of political science who was leading the protests told TNM, "The administration is demanding that we give up the protests if we want the release of the students."
Registrar of Madras University Srinivasan, Legal studies department director and syndicate member Santhosh Kumar, senior police officals and other authorities of the Madras University conducted peace talks with the group of students in the campus. It however did not yield results.
Santosh Kumar said, "The detained students are safe. University students should be studying and not protesting. This Act is a central government legislation and the case is already in Supreme Court."
He further asserted that detained students will be allowed to go when the protests end.
The University then declared leave from December 18 to December 23 to prevent further gathering of protestors.
Students however continued to protest and raise slogans, refusing to leave the campus till the detained students return to campus.
*This is a developing story.