New Delhi: At nine in the evening on Sunday, around two hours after the initial reports of the brutal violence in JNU campus went live, protestors across the city, from Jamia to Shaheen Bagh, and from several other parts of the city gathered outside Delhi Police Headquarters to demonstrate against reported police inaction in and around the central university’s campus.
Hundreds of protestors sloganeered against the policemen, who were reported to have stood as mute spectators when students and faculty members of JNU were brutally assaulted by armed, masked goons with apparent impunity.
Masood, a Jamia Milia Islamia student who was witness to the violence that unfolded in his university on December 15, said that Jamia Coordination Committee, whose member he is, was holding a meeting at 7pm when everyone got a message about what was happening in JNU.
“We decided to leave as soon as we could to come here and show our solidarity with our colleagues in the JNU and protest against police inaction. Delhi Police was clearly not interested in helping the students who were being beaten up mercilessly. Our friends told us that they had reached Vasant Vihar police station but the police was hesitant in registering an FIR even,” said Masood, who was present at the ITO.
Moin Qureishi, a Jamia Nagar resident, said he has constantly been out on the roads for the past 20 days. “Last 20 days we have barely had enough sleep. There was an announcement made in Okhla, in Shaheen Bagh, in Jamia, that people should come here as soon as possible. It is important in these moments to show solidarity with each other,” he said.
Meanwhile, at Shaheen Bagh, where a namaaz was offered for the safety of the JNU students, there was an uneasy calm. Protestors have been sitting here for the past nearly a month against CAA but rumours that are afloat about them being evicted are keeping them on tenterhooks.
“Today’s night is tough. We have seen movement of a lot of political leaders to this spot, which gives some strength to the rumours about us being evicted from this road. We can only hope that no violence happens and everyone is safe,” said Shabina, who was out with her friends in the early hours of Monday.
Nahid, another local who was out with her child at Shaheen Bagh, said that she couldn’t go to JNU but has been praying for the safety of JNU students.
A lot of injured students and faculty members of JNU were brought to AIIMS Trauma Centre, which till late night saw several high-profile political visits, including one from Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, from BJP’s Delhi unit, including Lok Sabha MP Manoj Tiwari, and from AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury. Bhim Army supporters had also come in great numbers and were heard chanting 'Jai Bhim' outside the trauma centre.