Crackdown on students assault on soul of India: Priyanka

The police action on students yesterday - at Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University - was ‘an attack on the soul of the nation’, the Congress's Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Monday, reports NDTV. Speaking after a two-hour silent protest at Delhi's iconic India Gate to show solidarity with the students, Ms Gandhi Varda launched a scathing attack on the government, accusing it of impairing the constitution.

"The government has given a blow to the Constitution. It is an attack on the soul of the nation. The youth is the soul of the nation. It is their right to protest," she said. The students had faced police action yesterday after a huge violence during their protest march against the new citizenship law. The matter had escalated fast, with students in several cities - Aligarh, Benaras, Kolkata and Mumbai starting campus protests by midnight.

Castigating the police action on the students, Priyanka Gandhi said, "I'm a mother too. You entered into their library, dragged them out and thrashed them up. This is tyranny". Surrounded by around 300 party leaders and workers, she was seen sitting near the iconic India Gate. The police have cordoned off the monument and asked for nearby metro stations to be shut down so that students cannot approach the area.

After yesterday's violence, during which protesters had clashed with the police, hundreds of students had gathered near the Delhi Police headquarters, blocking traffic on an arterial road. They dispersed near dawn when the detained students of Jamia were released by the police.

The evening's violence had involved a pitched battle between the protesters and the police, which left a posh locality of south Delhi resembling a war zone. Buses and two-wheelers were burnt, and the police, to control the crowd, had used batons and tear gas. The students and the university has have denied any involvement in the violence, alleging that locals who joined the march were responsible.

Late last evening, the police barged into the Jamia campus without permission and detained around 100 students. The university said they had entered illegally without permission and assaulted the staff and students. The students alleged that many of them picked up from the library. Videos surfaced in social media showing signs of struggle in toilets, where unconscious students lay.

The Congress, along with other opposition parties, has called for a judicial inquiry into the violence, alleging that the Delhi Police, which is under the control of the Central government, was taking orders from the BJP. They also said they would meet President Ram Nath Kovind tomorrow afternoon. The Left parties are planning to hold a mega protest on Thursday.