A group of Jamia Millia Islamia students staged a protest yesterday alleging that “surprise checks” and “raids” were made by Delhi Police in their hostels. The students who had gathered to protest on the campus alleged that around 3 PM on Saturday, two cars entered the hostel premises and started clicking pictures and shooting videos. Police, however, maintained that their personnel had gone to meet the proctor, and dismissed the allegations of the students.
The students gheraoed the Chief Proctor Mehtab Alam’s office, and shouted slogans for allowing police on the campus. The protests erupted following the intrusion of Delhi police personnel and some unknown people in plainclothes within the hostel premises. “We saw some commotion near the Allama Iqbal Hostel for boys and realised police were taking videos and photos of the hostel residents. When they proceeded to other hostels, we started following them. But the provost came and stopped us. How can the police just enter the campus and videograph and photograph students?” a student said.
Alam, however has justified the police presence saying that the police authorities had visited for routine verification before Independence Day. However, they were not given the permission to enter the campus. “Police were told not go inside gate number 4, but they still entered. I got to know this had happened when a student called me,” he added.
“We’re under the radar for no reason. Are we here to live in a continuous state of fear?” a female student asked.
Students gathered outside the vice-chancellor’s office demanding a fair inquiry into the matter and wanted to know why their university had been singled out for such “surprise raids”. Many believe that their university is being targeted by the government and party in power as it holds a minority status and that such actions are maligning the image of JMI- raids like these never happen on the premises of universities like DU, Ambedkar University and other private institutions in Delhi. This incident has raised several questions among students of the university and they demand to know what makes the government authorities view Jamia and its students suspiciously.