Students in large numbers hit the streets in Mumbai on Monday to express solidarity with the students of the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) protesting against the amended Citizenship Act, as agitation against the new law in other parts of the country found resonance in the metropolis.
Hundreds of students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and the University of Mumbai held protests to denounce the BJP-led government over the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
They condemned the police action against the students of the Delhi-based Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI) and the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The protests in the financial capital were peaceful.
TISS students gathered outside the college premises in the morning, carrying placards with anti-government slogans.
“The nation is dying while you are sleeping,” read one of the placards. The students also shouted slogans against what they called “Godi Media”.
They shouted slogans condemning “police brutality and violence” against the JMI and AMU students. “The time has come to speak up guys,” shouted a student.
Students assembled outside the TISS campus in suburban Deonar and demanded scrapping of the proposed NRC and the Citizenship Act, which was passed by Parliament last week and received presidential assent.
Fahad Ahmed, a second year student of PhD at the TISS, said the Delhi Police should learn a lesson from their Mumbai counterparts on handling protesters.
“We assembled here in large numbers but none of the officers even touched any student. We are here against the government and brutality of Delhi Police,” he told PTI.
“We are here since morning and protesting peacefully. We want Delhi Police officers to be held responsible for the Jamia incident,” he said.
Members of around 18 student unions assembled outside the Kalina campus of the Mumbai university and held a demonstration.
Around 500 students from different departments took part in the demonstration.
State coordinator of Chatra Bharti Sanghatana Sachin Bansod said, “We assembled here to show solidarity with the Jamia Milia Islamia students and protest against the Centre’s NRC plan and enactment of the CAA. We want that students arrested by the Delhi Police should be released immediately. If students want to express their views against the government, they should not be lathi-charged.”
Bansod demanded action against the Delhi Police for their high-handed behaviour with the students.
“In news and social media, we saw how the Delhi Police behaved with students and women too. We want action against the Delhi Police,” Bansod said.
“Our protests went on for two hours and members of 18 different student wings took part in it,” he said.
Several parts of the country, including the North-east and West Bengal, have erupted in protest against the CAA, which seeks to give citizenship to religiously persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The alleged police crackdown on the JMI and AMU students during their anti-CAA protest has also come under criticism from various quarters.