“They drove us to the outskirts of Delhi,” say detainees from Batla House march

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“They forced us to switched off our phone and kept driving for three hours, We were terrified,” a Jamia student* told Maktoob. He was among the 14 people detained by Delhi police for participating in a candlelight march in Batla House on Tuesday evening, commemorating Jamia violence.

A crowd of 30 people gathered around 6 pm in Batla house, initiating a march to Jamia Millia Islamia University, where police attacked students exactly a year ago.

Attack on Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University triggered the nationwide anti-CAA movement against India’s anti-Muslim citizenship law.

All the detainees were brought back after three hours. Detainees said they were not taken to any police station but were on the road during the detention.

“We were taken to the outskirts of Delhi, invoking worries among the detainees,” the student alleges that driver was constantly fed directions through calls from higher-ranking officers.

A detainee, who identities himself as a rickshaw driver suffered a panic attack inside the van. Police refused to take him to medical care, the student claims.

Women detainees were taken in a separate vehicle. Jailed activist Umar Khalid’s mother and sister were among the four women picked up by the police.

Umar Khalid’s father, SQR Illyas confirmed they were released and dropped back by the police. Earlier on Tuesday evening, Illyas visited three police stations to find his wife and daughter, but no leads to the detainees were revealed by the police for three hours.

“It was a peaceful protest to observe the anniversary of Jamia Violence. Police detained us without any provocation,” said one of the detainees who was served notice by the Delhi police in Delhi pogrom conspiracy case.

Three Jamia student leaders and the president of the alumni association were arrested in Delhi pogrom conspiracy case. People who attended the march raised slogans demanding the release of jailed activists and students.

“Why do police have to keep students on the edge by not revealing the location of the detainees,” asks student activist Bilal Ibn Shahul.

“There are armed forces outside the campus since yesterday. They are back to intimidate students,” Shahul adds.

*Name of the detainee is withheld as requested by the individual.