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Students recount UP Police brutality in Aligarh university, three years on

At the event, social worker and researcher Aasif Mujtaba and journalist Ghazala Ahmed talked about “tracing state-sponsored violence on and after 15 December 2019” and “challenges in reporting communal violence: navigating media-activism as a Muslim journalist” respectively. Photo: Kaunain Raza

Concerned students of Aligarh Muslim University Thursday organised a commemoration event in the campus’s arts faculty lawns to remember the police violence on 15 December 2019 perpetrated against the students who were protesting against CAA and other discriminatory citizenship policies.

15 December 2019 was an important date in the history of Aligarh Muslim University. Three years ago, the campus witnessed state-sponsored violence of unforeseen proportions.

During Thursday’s gathering, students shared the ordeal of police action and state crackdown on Muslim students on campus.

At the event, social worker and researcher Aasif Mujtaba and journalist Ghazala Ahmead talked about “tracing state-sponsored violence on and after 15 December 2019” and “challenges in reporting communal violence: navigating media-activism as a Muslim journalist” respectively.

“We respect people and the sacrifices that they made during the whole protest. No one comes to the rescue when the torment falls upon our community. During the riots of 2020, I have seen the riots through my eyes, the rioters burning houses I didn’t know if I would ever come back or not. More than 90% of the deaths and property damage is of Muslims at the same time when we look at the charge sheet out of the 1500 people that were arrested more than 800 were Muslims,” said Aasif Mujtaba who runs a relief group called Miles2smile Foundation.

“It is a perplexing situation we have to face, when our own houses are burnt, we have to use the ashes to make ink to write our own stories. It is a brutal reminder: No one will tell your stories; you must do it yourself,” said Ghazala who reported the CAA protests and police violence extensively.

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