Members of civil society, journalists, members of legal fraternity and students gathered in the Press Club of India on Tuesday to commemorate three years of brutal police violence in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University during historic protests against CAA and NRC.
The organisers Concerned Citizens and Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) said the meeting held in defense of those who have been put behind bars for exercising their democratic right to speak up against the attacks on minorities and the marginalized.
Nadeem Khan from Association for Protection Civil Rights said, “Today is the day to remind ourselves how three years back people were brutalised for peacefully protesting against the CAA. The police action three years ago showed the kind of impunity that police has acquired. This should concern everyone in the society.”
“At the time of independence, there were two visions of India. First was the vision of constitutional democracy where everyone would be considered equal. The second was the vision championed by the RSS where while some would be considered superior citizens, others would be treated as inferior based on their religion. This is what is being implemented now,” said Hartosh Singh Bal, senior journalist and political editor at The Caravan.
“Why does a government that is projecting itself as a vibrant democracy in the world stage, need to suppress dissent on ground?” asked senior journalist Pamela Philipose. She went to say, “The anti-CAA movement showed the spirit of solidarity amongst the people. We need to proudly remember that the students of Jamia and Aligarh Muslim University were the first to speak up against the Citizenship Amendment Act.’
Warda Beg, student activist from Aligarh Muslim University, quoting Angela Davis said that while jails are meant to break people’s spirits, it has failed to break the spirits of our friends who were jailed for protesting against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act.”
Haris Javed, student from Jamia Millia Islamia, recounted the horrors of the police atrocities on the 13th and 15th of December 2019. He said, “after all the atrocities, now the students are being portrayed as the villains. But students have lost their hands, their eyes. Every winters, the pain strikes back and so do those memories.”