Tamil Nadu

Anti-Citizenship Act protest: Police remove students from University of Madras campus

Protesting students are brought out of the University of Madras campus in a police vehicle late on December 18, 2019. Photo: Special Arrangement

Protesting students are brought out of the University of Madras campus in a police vehicle late on December 18, 2019. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The police on December 18 night removed students protesting inside the University of Madras campus at Chepauk to prevent them from continuing their agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). 

A police senior official confirmed that the students had been taken to Triplicane Police Station, though no cases had been filed.

Earlier in the day, students from different colleges staged a protest. They raised slogans against the Union government for enacting the ‘discriminatory and divisive’ law.

Around 1.30 p.m., the police detained four persons. “We did not know where they were till 4 p.m, and later we came to know that they were kept at the Kotturpuram police station. Intelligence officers were sent to their houses to check their background,” said a protester.

Meanwhile, A senior police officer said the four were only detained to check whether they were students. “Senthil is not a student, he runs an organisation called Ilan Tamilagam.

Students of New College gather to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC, at the college campus, Royapettah

Students of New College gather to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC, at the college campus, Royapettah   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

 

We have written to the respective colleges to check if the other three are students,” said a police officer.

“Some of us left for other work and returned on Wednesday morning. Only a few were let in, while the other students, despite showing identity cards were not permitted inside. The police placed barricades and prevented them from coming inside,” said a protesting student.

She said there were a few police personnel inside the campus. “The University of Madras and its affiliated colleges have declared a holiday. Due to this, hostel students are affected. We want the holiday withdrawn,” a protester said. Another protester said the students wanted the 11 MPs who supported the CAA to resign after submitting an apology letter.

Over 1,000 students of New College and over 500 students from the Justice Basheer Ahmed College for Women also launched a protest against CAA. “We hold protests from morning to evening every day,” said a student

This is the second day the University of Madras students are involved in a sit-in protest at their campus. On Monday, students of IIT-Madras and Loyola College, as well as others in the State, had staged protests.

The Chennai City Police have tightened security around the campus in view of the agitation.

Students of the University of Madras staging a sit-in protest condemning the CAA

Students of the University of Madras staging a sit-in protest condemning the CAA   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

The varsity has declared holidays from December 18 to December 23, after which the regular Christmas vacation will begin, until January 2.

Kamal Haasan at university

Around 6 p.m., MNM founder Kamal Haasan visited the campus, but was barred entry. Later, he told mediapersons that the protesters had been starved out to silence their voices. 

“I have come here to lend my face as their podium and my vocal chords as their microphone. I am not allowed inside. But they might say what right have you got to go inside. I will call myself a student. I am a high school dropout. I shall remain a student, and I have come here in that capacity to be their defender. I will keep voicing my opinion, irrespective of whether I have a political party or not. Now that I have a party, it becomes my duty to be here and voice my opinion. People all over India are raising their voices. You cannot silence all of us,” he said.

Students at the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women held a demonstration on December 18, demanding that the Act be revoked.

Vellore

In Vellore too, students protested against the CAA on Wednesday.

More than 500 students from C. Abdul Hakeem College in Arcot staged a demonstration in front on their college. They hailed Muslim organisations for their support of the students’ agitation against the CAA in Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.

The police brutality against student leaders was anti-democratic, they charged and said police should show restraint when dealing with students who were displaying their opposition to Union Government.

Likewise, around 300 students from Sacred Heart College in Tirupattur showed their dissent for the CAA, which they said was a divisive legislation.

Tiruchi

A cross-section of students of St. Joseph's College and members of the All India Catholic University Federation staged a protest at the college campus here on Wednesday morning urging the Centre to revoke the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Students from various departments of the college showed their support by raising slogans and holding banners, placards about the possible repercussions of the Act. “We also condemn the police brutality and an attempt at quelling students' voices at Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University,” said a student representative. Peaceful protests are a democratic right and the Centre's attempt at dividing the country will fail, they added.

The students also demanded a response from the Tamil Nadu Government on granting citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

The students intend to join hands with other student unions in the city and raise their voices against the CAA in larger numbers. “Let the authorities know that the student community is strong, cannot be divided by religion and will always stand together,” L. Selvasneha, a student said.

A signature campaign will be organised among students to enlist support, S. Shelton Raj, a student representative of AICUF, said, adding that the Federation will write emails to the Prime Minister listing out their demands on the CAA.

Coimbatore

As many as 17 students of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, were detained and removed as they attempted to block the convoy of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday morning. The Governor was at the university campus to attend a convocation ceremony.​

Those detained, including six girls, were shifted to Thondamuthur police station. ​

A statement issued by an alumni forum of Bharathiar University condemned the police action against the students who protested against CAA at the university.​“We strongly believe that universities must be open spaces for debates, discussions and dissent that will help shape the socio-economic and political perspectives of younger generations... It is disheartening that a university in the name of revolutionary poet Subramanya Bharathi stands with the right wing ideologies of Sangh Parivar and aid in the oppressors' efforts to destroy the secular fabric of our nation,” it said.​

A section of students of PSG College of Arts and Science on Avinashi Road boycotted classes and staged a sit in inside the campus. They raised slogans against the CAA.

​A group of students from Government Arts College, Coimbatore, also staged a protest in front of the campus opposing CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC).​

Advocates who oppose CAA staged a demonstration outside the Coimbined Court Complex and demanded immediate withdrawal of the Act.​

Coimbatore city police on Wednesday posted policemen at VOC Grounds to avoid protestors assembling in large numbers. VOC Grounds was one of the largest venues of Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu in 2017. ​Welfare Party of India has planned to stage a road blockade at Athupalam in Coimbatore in protest against CAA on Wednesday evening.  ​

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 12:05:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/caa-students-in-chennai-vellore-continue-to-protest/article30336645.ece

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