Student leader arrested in Jamia violence case

Asif Iqbal Tanha, Jamia Millia Islamia student leader has been arrested by Delhi Police for leading the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in South East Delhi’s Jamia Nagar in December last year.

Asif was arrested by Delhi Police on Saturday evening.

“He was presented before the District Court Saket which sent him to judicial custody for 14 days,” lawyer Sowjhanya Shankaran told Maktoob.

“We will move for the bail,” she added.

Asif, a student of BA Persian is a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC). The Jamia Coordination Committee or JCC is a group comprising students and alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia, and it was formed in protest against the CAA, NRC, and NPR.

Asif is also a leader of the Jamia campus unit of Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO).

Asif is the first Jamia student arrested in the Jamia violence case.

“He has been arrested in connection with a case which was registered at Jamia police station on December 16, 2019, in connection with riots in the Jamia area in which he was named an accused,” a senior police officer said.

“On 15.12.2019 at around 02:20 PM. large gathering arms with Lathis had assembled near Escorts Hospital Sarai Juliana Chowk. This unlawful assembly blocked the traffic movement from all sides at Mathura Road, Ashram Chowk. They set ablaze buses and other vehicles. It is submitted that on 17.05.2020 i.e. today itself, accused Asif Iqbal Tanha, one of the main instigators, specifically named in the FIR, was arrested in the above-mentioned case,” a court order reads.

The FIR was registered, wherein police claimed protesters entered into a scuffle with personnel while protesting over the newly passed citizenship law. The FIR was registered in 2019 December on SHO Upender Singh’s complaint, who mentioned the name Asif Iqbal Tanha and Asif Khan, three local politicians — Ashu Khan, Haider, Mustafa, and Jamia student leaders — AISA member Chandan Kumar and CYSS member Kasim Usmani.

On 15 December 2019, students of Jamia Millia Islamia held protests against the CAA for the third consecutive day. That day, the students had conducted peaceful protests within the university premises. Yet, the Delhi Police forced their way into campus and attacked the protesting students with brute force, using lathis and tear gas.

Numerous accounts revealed that the Police personnel hit every student they could find, even in places such as the library, the mosque, the canteen, and the bathrooms.

The police broke open the mosque and vandalized it while people were offering their prayers and man-handled the Imam.

The CCTV video footage exclusively released by Maktoob showed police attacking students. In the five-minute-long clip, police and paramilitary personnel are shown breaking down the door and barging into the reading room. Most have their faces covered.

The university officials, students, and alumni association had filed separate police complaints against the brutal action of unruly policemen who beat students and damaged university property. Police, however, are yet to register an FIR in the matter.

With inputs from Jaseem Tirur, a journalist based in New Delhi.

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