Published: 18th December 2019
Police detains MU students buying food: Legal director says he can't stop cops picking up people outside campus
After a day of being unable to find their comrades, students were further angered when the legal director called it a 'simple matter'
Two students from Madras University — when they stepped out to buy food during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University — were detained by the police earlier today. The furious students confronted the members of the administration demanding the release of the two students, and they were assured that the two would 'reach back home safely.'
The students had gathered peacefully for a protest joined several other campuses across the country in protests against CAA. The police promptly also arrived on the scene. Two students from the group allegedly stepped out of the campus to buy food for the protesters. "When they stepped out, the police dragged them into their jeeps and drove off," a student said. When the students demanded to know where the students had been taken, they were told D6 Police Station, but when they visited the station, the students allegedly didn't find them there.
"Then they said they are at another station but we don't know where," he said. When they demanded that they be released, the police allegedly said that it wasn't such a serious issue and they would be let off in 10 minutes. "When we demanded that the administration ensure their return, they told us that they would ask the police to release them if we called off our protest," the student said. The students said that they were being forced to call off the demonstration but they refused to do so.
The students said that they had held a peaceful protest and were only speaking about the issue and singing songs, so in no way were they disrupting the functioning of the University or causing a ruckus. "They just stepped out to buy us food. That's all, nothing else," a student said.
When the legal director got vocal — a dialogue that is epic
Later in the evening, after various media people entered the campus, the legal director, members of the administration addressed the students. The legal director said that the students had nothing to worry about because they had spoken to the police and were assured that the detainees would be sent home safely. "When we came to know that two of our students had been detained, we called the police and told them to let them go. But the police have their own procedure and said it isn't a big deal at all and that they would let them go. But because you'll kept asking I called again and they assured me that the boys would reach home by this evening," he said.
When asked why the police had been summoned to the campus in the first place when peaceful protests were taking place, the legal director said that the police are allowed to enter any space where there is a law and order situation. "I didn't call them, they came on their own," he claimed. "This detainment is not at all a big issue, you'll are just making it seem like a big thing. This is not at all a serious issue, so please disperse," he told the students. Angered at the fact that he was calling it a 'simple issue' some of the students asked how he could possibly think this was a simple issue when their own students had been taken to an undisclosed location. "Why are you telling us he'll go back home? They picked him up from here, they have to return him here only. Ask the police to bring him here," the students demanded of the legal director.
To this, the legal director said that there was nothing he could do, because the students were not taken from the campus but outside — which is a public space. "If they took him from here, I have the right to ask. But they were outside and now the police might pick anyone from outside and go, I cannot stop them. However, they will only do their routine questioning, they are safe. So there's no need to create all this ruckus," he said. But the student's defended themselves that their protest was against the CAA and they have the right to protest. "We want the CAA to be rejected that is why we are here," a student said.
"That I cannot help you with. The matter is in Supreme Court and it is sub-judice, so we are not supposed to discuss it. If you'll read up on it, it is very clear," the legal director responded. To this, the students got up, turned the other way and started yelling slogans. The director walked away.