Published: 17th October 2019
Jamia students continue protest into fourth day: Here's why they're not backing down
The students have been protesting since five students received show-cause notices for protesting against Israel as a country-partner for an event
The Jamia Millia Islamia University students are on their fourth day of strike against the institution for issuing show-cause notices to five students. The notices were issued to the students because they had protested against Israeli delegates participating in an event on campus, however, they called their protest a silent and symbolic one.
The students allege that they were manhandled after the protest and two of their peers had been beaten up by the University guards as well. "The security guards and members of the proctorial team were involved in physically manhandling and intimidating the students. The University administration, instead of taking action against the assaulters of which there is clear video evidence, is threatening the students with show-cause notice," All India Students' Association (AISA) said in a statement. Two of their members were among those to receive a notice.
The students say that initially two of the protesters were taken away and beaten up and when one of them made a phone call complaining of what was happening, about 20 others turned up at the proctor's office. They claim that they were not allowed inside and were manhandled by the guards there as well. However, when they demanded an enquiry into the matter, they were promised one. But a couple of days later, five of the protesters received show-cause notices. "University campuses are not a prison and we refuse to be reduced to prisoners. We appeal everyone to stand with the students of Jamia and demand revocation of the show cause notices which is a clear attempt to intimidate student activists," the students said.
Despite the fact that they were mandated to respond to the show-cause notice on Tuesday, the students refused to respond because they felt it would seem like they had done something wrong. They have been protesting on campus since October 14, both night and day but nobody from the administration has responded to them, "This is the height of arrogance and insensitivity of Jamia authorities who have not initiated a dialogue process till now with agitating students. On the second day of the indefinite strike, hundreds of students marched across the Jamia campus demanding the withdrawal of show cause notice and we also had a screening of the movie Roadmap To Apartheid about the Israel-Palestine crisis. We will continue this until the administration hears us."