Indian Americans strongly condemn the brutal attacks on students in Jamia Millia and AMU

Indian Americans strongly condemn the brutal attacks on students in Jamia Millia and Aligarh Muslim University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2019
Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States, strongly condemns the brutal crackdown on students in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh on Sunday, December 15, 2019.
Intense protests against a divisive Indian citizenship law that excludes Muslims have spread to university campuses across the country, fueled by a brutal police crackdown. The students were expressing their right to peacefully protest and express dissent vis a vis the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), which they view as discriminatory, bigoted, and antithetical to India’s secular ideals and it’s constitution.
Harrowing eye witness accounts, videos and on ground reports show an indiscriminate use of force that includes but is not limited to baton charges, tear gassing, and even firing inside the campuses. Video footage also showed police vandalizing bikes and torching buses, perhaps in an attempt to justify their brutal crackdown.
Police entered the JMI campus in the capital on Sunday and detained more than 100 students, beating activists in the street and firing teargas and rubber bullets to silence the protestors. JMI was shut on Monday, as were nearby schools and offices, after barricades and buses were set alight during the protest.
Anti-riot police also subjected students marching at AMU in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday to brutality, firing teargas into crowds and arresting dozens. An internet blockade was implemented in the area on Sunday night and remained in place on Monday in an attempt to quell the mounting unrest.
Responding to this, the president of the Indian American Muslim Council, Ahsan Khan said, “We have watched this tragic unfolding of events with great concern and anguish. The all India National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Law will have a primal impact on the Indian polity. This is a step towards rupturing India’s social fabric and students should at the very least have the democratic right to protest. The IAMC extends full solidarity to the students and teachers of Jamia Millia and AMU as they speak truth to power.”
Syed Ali, IAMC Vice President, applauded the overwhelming nationwide support and solidarity with students of JMI, AMU, and against the CAA/NRC. He said that “there is a far more sinister communal motive behind the exercise as the law openly discriminates against Muslims, making them second-class citizens, and undermines India’s secular foundations.” He further noted that “the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) openly subscribes to a Hindu nationalist agenda, aiming to establish the world’s largest democracy as a Hindu rather than secular state as enshrined in the constitution.”
Anti CAA/NRC Protests Planned Nationwide
IAMC urges all its coalition partners and all people of conscience in the U.S. to rally and hold peaceful protests nationwide to protest against the discriminatory and bigoted policies of the current Indian Administration that aims to reconstitute India into a Hindu theocracy by subverting the Constitution from its pluralist moorings.
IAMC further demands justice on all counts – an independent judicial inquiry, immediate suspension of those police personnel who ordered the forceful entry on campus and assistance as well as treatment of those who have been victims of police brutality.
Left: Ahsan Khan, IAMC president, addressing a crowd in San Jose, CA. IAMC joined the protest against the new Citizenship law in India along with several coalition partners.
Right: Amin Zama, IAMC Board member, participating in a vigil organized at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: www.iamc.com