Published: 16th December 2019
Kashmiri students in AMU in crisis after being asked to vacate hostels, say they have nowhere to go
During the police attack on AMU students yesterday, cops also entered the hostels and dragged the students out
Even before students from Aligarh Muslim University can come to terms with the events of yesterday, they are being asked to vacate their hostel rooms. The administration has asked students to vacate the premises within the next 24 hours but there is a certain section of the Muslims who have nowhere to go — the Kashmiris.
As Kashmir continues to remain under lockdown, several students have been unable to go back home. Either because they continue to be unable to speak to their families or because their families themselves are asking them not to return because of the situation in the region right now. Heavy paramilitary forces continue to throng the streets of the region after the abrogation of Article 370. "Kashmiri students are in a crisis. We have nowhere to go. Even if we want to go, tickets are showing 30,000 rupees, where do we go for that kind of money. If they ask us to leave so abruptly, where are we going to go?" a Kashmiri student questioned.
During the police attack on students yesterday, cops also allegedly entered the hostels and dragged the students out, "Even students who were quietly sitting inside were dragged out and beaten black and blue. Then someone also set fire in some of the rooms, so that the students would be forced to exit the rooms. And when they came out, the police chased them down and beat them with lathis," a student said.
Now without hostels, the Kashmiri students say they are completely homeless.
Where were they when Jamia happened?
The AMU students were having general body meeting to discuss how they were going to take forward their protests when news started to pour in about police brutality in Jamia Millia Islamia University. Understandably furious and fearful after hearing the news, the students decided to carry out a march to show their solidarity with the students who had been injured by the police. "We decided to walk from the Bab-E-Sayyed, the gate, to the University circle which is situated right outside. But when we wanted to go out, the police stopped us. Then all of a sudden, the police were suddenly lathi charging the students, chasing them down, pulling them out of their hostels and the library and beating them. Then they began to throw rocks at us, firing shells and tear gas," a student recalled.
No internet, no news, no way out
The internet has been currently blocked in the area as well and some students say that they are not able to even send texts so they are unsure if their friends are okay or not. "At least before we were able to text out friends even if we didn't have internet but we are unable to do so now. We are not sure how many students are in the hospital and are critical," another student said. Many students have had fingers, palms, hands, and legs amputated in the attack.
One of the students who was injured in the attack said that he was only speaking to his friend at the site of the protest when he suddenly felt a sharp pain and blood oozing out from his head, "They threw a rock on my forehead, near my eyebrow. It all happened so fast, I didn't even realize. Usually, the police will make announcements but there was no announcement of any sort, it came out of nowhere. Then my friends rushed me to the guest house and helped me get some gauze," he said.