Reports suggest that the Delhi police on Wednesday detained 10 students in the national capital even as students hit the streets for symbolic protests against the arrests of Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita and several others who participated in anti-CAA protests earlier this year.
Student bodies across India held virtual protests against the arrests of activist, while some held symbolic protests, maintaining social distance, in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
India Today reported that 10 students from JNU and Delhi University and a journalist were detained by the Delhi police and later released.
The report said that those detained were taken to the Vasant Kunj Police station in Delhi before being released.
Several people took to Twitter on Wednesday night to criticise the arrests:
Apart from Kalita and Narwal, several other anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and anti-National Register of Citizens protesters like Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha Khatoon, Iqbal Tanha and others have been arrested over the last few months.
PTI reported that police had been deployed in Jamia in anticipation of the protests. The police had also denied permission for protests by DU students.
Members of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) said that they were threatened by the police over the last few days.
PTI quoted SFI state committee member Varkey as saying, “Due to the repeated threats we scattered even more and held small gatherings near Meera Bai park and Vijay Nagar, which is a residential area for all the university students.
“The government is using the COVID-19 situation to clamp down voices of dissent and shift the narrative from its own failure to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve to the Anti CAA-protesters and how anti-national they are,” Varkey said.
Reports said that apart from tweets and posts online against the arrest of activists, using hashtags like #sabyaadrakhajayega, students were protesting in groups of five people outside JNU, Jamia and DU.
An AISA leader told The Telegraph, “The police sent us a notice not to protest at Gate 4, and we replied that we were not protesting there, but the police’s victimising of dissenters while letting instigators of the communal pogrom go free compels us to raise our voice.”
The police have denied the allegations saying they contacted the organisers of the protest and requested them not to assemble as section 144 was force in the wake of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, people from across India and many places in the world tweeted in support of the protests:
(With PTI inputs)