Crushing Force

Delhi Police quells protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Jamia

Sreekanth Sivadasan
Sreekanth Sivadasan
14 December, 2019

On 9 December, the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill excludes members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who entered India from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh, from the definition of an illegal immigrant under Indian citizenship law. Effectively, Muslims from these three countries would continue to be treated as illegal immigrants, and would be denied the benefits of the bill.

The next day, protests against the bill erupted across cities in India. A day later, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill, and on 13 December, the president gave it his assent, turning it into an act of law. That day, the students of Delhi’s Jamia Millia University called a march to Parliament in protest against the act. To halt the demonstration, Delhi police entered the campus, pelted stones at and lathi charged the protestors, and released tear-gas shells. It detained close to fifty students, and injured many others. The university has cancelled its examinations and declared leave until 5 January.

Protests against the act have only intensified since they first begun. In many places, the state’s response has been characterised solely by brute force.