Published: 18th December 2019
Apolitical IIT Delhi students march 'silently' against police brutality at Jamia, but not against CAA
IIT Delhi students have made it clear that they did not want to politicise their march in solidarity with the Jamia students, by taking a stand for or against the CAA
Following the brutal action by the Delhi Police against the students of Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday night, institutions across the country are up in arms protesting against the incident and also the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). IIT Delhi students also wanted to express their solidarity towards the students who were beaten up, however, they had made it clear that they did not want to politicise their movement by taking a stand for or against the CAA. The solidarity march which started on Monday night saw over 200 IIT students in South Delhi walking peacefully with their phone torchlights illuminated.
While the students had a clear agenda for the march and knew what they were protesting against, several pictures claiming to be from the same march surfaced on Facebook and were being circulated on Whatsapp — which showed some students holding posters with 'Don't politicise IIT Delhi, stop fake propaganda' written on it. The ones who posted these photos alleged that there were outsiders present at the march who tried to create a perception that IIT-D students are against the CAA. The post that has been circulated was posted by an IIT Delhi student named Shubhrangshu Jha. He also alleged in the post that the outsiders were of the 'leftist mentality' and that IIT Delhi is only meant for education, "nonsense student politics of JNU breed has no place in the institute."
Not against CAA, only Police Brutality at Jamia
IIT Delhi students told Edex that the post carries nothing but fake news and it's a lie that there were outsiders present on December 16 at the march. "There were no outsiders involved, it's all a lie, our security guards were there with us throughout making sure that there were no outsiders. The ones seen in the photos are our friends but they believe in the right-wing ideology, they weren't happy with the students protesting inside the campus. The protest wasn't formally declared as the Dean of students had given us permission but later the director was not on campus and there was no confirmation about the protest. The Students' Council wanted to go on with it anyway. Students came and joined in large numbers but they didn't raise slogans, it was a silent march. It was only meant to show our solidarity towards the Jamia students who were victims of police brutality," explained Nimesh Joseph, PhD representative of the Students' Affair Council. Nimesh is currently a research scholar at IIT Delhi.
Nimesh told Edex that a confusion had taken place at the march when a few students put up CAA posters stating their stance against the act. "We had them taken down as we didn't want to politicise the march in any way. But they were not outsiders as claimed by these social media posts," he added.
Torch light march at IIT Delhi
No classes missed, no noise on campus
Vickey Nandal, PhD Representative of Co-curricular and Academic Interaction Council (CAIC) at IIT Delhi also reiterated the same. "The protest was a peaceful one organised by IIT Delhi UG, Masters and PhD students. Over 200 students took part in this silent and peaceful demonstration. A torch light march was also conducted by students. The only aim of the protest was to oppose police brutality inside universities," he said. No classes had been hampered by the protests, the IIT Delhi students added.
Aman Singhal, an IIT Delhi alumni also stated that the post on Facebook was a lie. "This picture has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp. As someone who just graduated from IITD and still knows a lot of people there, the post carries nothing but fake news. There was a protest, organised by real IIT Delhi students, in which many real IIT Delhi students did engage. They weren't allowing any other college students to participate, and were not allowing media either. In fact, when a few students showed up wanting to protest, the former gave them paper and pens, to make banners. The protest was peaceful and the students were real. This is how the government wants the country to operate, they have delegitimised protests in IITs by saying that these are organised by JNU and other students. They are not," he wrote in one of his Facebook posts.