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On Dharna Against Jamia Crackdown, Priyanka Gandhi Says 'It's Attack on India's Soul'

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the two-hour protest, which began at 4 pm, is to express solidarity with students from Jamia Millia Islamia University and other places.

News18.com

Updated:December 16, 2019, 7:50 PM IST
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On Dharna Against Jamia Crackdown, Priyanka Gandhi Says 'It's Attack on India's Soul'
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi at India Gate in Delhi.

New Delhi: Congress leaders led by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held a sit-in at the India Gate on Monday in a show of solidarity with the protesting students from Jamia Millia Islamia and several other universities across the country, and alleged that the amended citizenship law was intended to destroy the Constitution .

After a two-hour 'silent protest' from 4 pm to 6 pm, the Congress general secretary hit out at the Modi government over the citizenship law, saying the police crackdown on students of Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday was an attack on the soul of India.

"This country is for everyone, it is for all those students who were beaten up yesterday. Attack on students is an attack on the soul of India," she said.

She said the citizenship amendment law was against India's Constitution and that it was brought to "destroy" the Constitution.

"Each and every Congress worker will fight against Modi government which is turning dictatorial," said Priyanka Gandhi, wondering why Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "silent" on assault on women, economy, joblessness and what happened against the students.

The Congress general secretary was joined at the protest by leaders like Ahmed Patel, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Randeep Singh Surjewala, besides hundreds of party workers.

"The country's atmosphere is bad. Police are entering university to beat up (students). The government has tinkered with the Constitution. We will fight for the Constitution," she said.

Congress spokesperson Surjewala said the two-hour protest, which began at 4 pm, is to express solidarity with students from Jamia Millia Islamia University and other places.

Thousands of students across India took to the streets demanding a probe into the use of teargas inside the Jamia library as well as police entering the campus without permission from university authorities on Sunday.

Jamia turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus after a protest against the amended citizenship law near the varsity turned violent.

Earlier, Congress and several opposition political parties condemned the alleged police "brutality" against students of Jamia and demanded a judicial inquiry into it.

"How could the police enter Jamia and unleash such brutality on the students when the university authorities did not allow the police to enter it," Azad asked.

At a press conference, leaders of various opposition parties -- Congress' Azad and Kapil Sibal, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja, RJD's Manoj Jha, SP's Javed Ali Khan and Sharad Yadav condemned Sunday's police action against Jamia students.

The leaders said that they will raise the issue with President Ram Nath Kovind as it was related to unrest in central universities which are directly under his control.

The meeting is likely to be held on Tuesday evening, sources said.

Azad also rejected the charges levelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Congress was behind the violent protests. "It is wrong to make such accusations and we condemn it," he said.

Yechury demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge in the incident. "Whoever gave the permission to allow the police to enter the Jamia campus should be brought to book and punished," he said.

He said it was not a Hindu-Muslim issue and asked people not to fall prey to rumours as the act was an affront to the Constitution.

"It is the ruling party and Government of India which are behind the violence. Had the government not brought in this law, there would not have been such violence. It is the prime minister, home minister and the Cabinet who are responsible for this violence" he alleged.

Raja said that those who gave the orders for police entry in Jamia should be bought to book.

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