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15 Dec, 2019 15:32

Chaos & tear gas at Muslim-majority uni in New Delhi after police responding to riots outside break into campus (VIDEOS)

Chaos & tear gas at Muslim-majority uni in New Delhi after police responding to riots outside break into campus (VIDEOS)

Following days of unrest centered around New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, police – reportedly chasing a violent mob – have broken into its grounds firing tear gas, making arrests and forcing dozens of students to flee.

The heavy police response is linked to the wave of Muslim protests across the country triggered by the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which has sparked riots in the vicinity of Jamia Millia Islamia (National Muslim University) in the Indian capital.

The area has become a flashpoint of clashes with police, although students say the campus itself has until now been peaceful. 

Earlier in the day, police blocked a protest march from leaving the university campus, firing tear gas and detaining dozens of protesters, as the crowd went increasingly violent and started pelting them with stones.

Fresh footage shows that police entered the campus on Sunday evening, and chaotic scenes of students reacting to the incursion. Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmed Khan said that “no permission was given” for the officers to enter, yet they did so “by force.” Khan told ANI News that both staff and students were “beaten up and forced to leave the campus.”

Students inside the campus insist their protest was non-violent, and claim that the police entered the college and indiscriminately fired tear gas. Videos shared on social media show chaos in the university’s buildings, as the sound of smashing glass and what seem to be riot control weapon shots can be heard.

Other videos showed dozens of students with their hands up walking outside the university gates as police watch.

Police, meanwhile, said they'd had “no problem” with the university itself.


“Our only interest is to push the mob back, so law and order can be restored in the area. We have no problem with university students,” Deputy Police Commissioner Chinmoy Biswal told ANI. He added that six of his officers had been injured in clashes.

Jamia Islamia University cancelled all upcoming exams and declared vacation until January 6, in light of the unrest. 

Police say protesters outside the university set buses on fire and pelted officers with stones. Firemen working to contain the blazes have also been injured. Officials have closed all transport stations around the university and urged the public to avoid the area.

The CAB bill behind the controversy was signed into law by President Nath Kovind earlier this week. It fast-tracks citizenship for religious minorities that fled Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan for India before 2015. However, the fact that it excludes Muslims has been interpreted as discriminatory, leading to a wave of outrage and unrest. Violence escalated particularly fast in the northeastern state of Assam, where clashes with security forces have seen five people killed, while hundreds have been taken into custody.

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Indian PM Narendra Modi’s government has clarified that the law does not affect the Muslims of India, and that it’s designed to protect, not persecute certain groups. The lawmakers’ logic was that in Muslim-majority countries Muslims are less likely to experience discrimination.

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