Jamia protests: How Delhi Police strategy to keep protesters in check went for a toss

Mahender Singh Manral
Jamia Millia islamia protests, delhi police, jamia university clashes, protests at jamia university, cab protests, citizenship amendment bill, delhi city news

Police said they are filing an FIR

Hours before the protest march by students from Jamia Millia Islamia to the Parliament, police officers of the South East district were directed by seniors from Delhi Police Headquarters not to use force and to restrain protesters in the area around the campus. But the law and order situation got out of hand when, instead of stopping protesters a few metres from the university, police stopped them just outside the university gate.

A senior police officer said this may have been a miscalculation by local district police. Initially, there were just 200 police personnel from the district and one extra company. “The plan suggested to the district police by senior officers was to restrain protesters after taking them away from the campus to near NFC and divert traffic accordingly. But district police informed seniors they were in touch with the main organisers, who had assured them they were not going to agitate on a large scale. Keeping this in mind, senior officers asked them to stop protesters near the university area,” an officer said.

Follow LIVE updates on protests over Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB)

But this, an officer said, didn’t have the anticipated effect as some protesters started trying to get through the barricades. “Before police could stop them, some ruffians from the locality joined the protesters and started pelting stones at personnel,” the officer said.

As the situation got out of hand, police used lathi charge. “Some students in the meantime started pelting stones from inside their campus. A message was conveyed to senior officers and three extra companies of force along with more police personnel from the district were called in. Police then used teargas, and while ruffians managed to escape, students faced the heat,” the officer said.