ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15, the Delhi police brutally attacked students from the Jamia Millia Islamia University and residents of Jamia Nagar, who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The attack was not an isolated act of violence by the BJP Government of Narendra Modi. In many parts of India, people, in particular Muslims, rose against the new Act, which was passed by the BJP-dominated parliament on December 11, 2019. The Amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955 gives eligibility for Indian citizenship to illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. But it excludes Muslim people from the regulation. This discrimination against the country’s largest minority is an integral part of the vile Hindu-chauvinist campaign by the Hindutva government against Muslims.
In the same context, the Indian government also introduced a new National Register of Citizens, NRC. Initially, this would only apply to Assam, but on November 20 home minister Amit Shah declared that it would be extended to the whole country. This new regulation would require people to provide documentation to prove their legal status and therefore citizenship rights. This may be used not only against so-called illegal immigrants, but also to remove citizenship rights from non-Hindu and, in particular, Muslim minorities, who may not be able to prove their legal status. Such a requirement would have an impact on many of the most exploited sections of the working class, surviving in the most extreme poverty on low-paid jobs, who simply do not have any such documentation even if their families have lived in India for centuries.
These racist constitutional changes and new registration laws arouse anger and mass protest by students and Muslim people throughout the country.
Massive police repression
The police are repressing the protest movement with utmost brutality. Videos on social media show the police attacking the university library, where students were studying. The police used tear gas, explosives and even live ammunition. Media have reported that three students died as a result of the assault and around 50 others have gunshot wounds. Police have also fired on Aligarh University. These universities were under attack because they have Muslim students, who are protesting against the CAB and NRC.
There are also reports emerging that many students were abducted by the Delhi police. They are doing this to terrorise and divide the Indian population. This is outright racism against the Muslim students and people but, in Jamia, non-Muslim students are helping their fellow students and standing up against the police brutality, especially women have shown tremendous courage.
In Delhi, the demonstrations of thousands led to the release of detained students. All over the country, we can see signs of a powerful student movement emerging against the Modi government. They demand the immediate withdrawal of police from Jamia campus, Jami Nagar and Aligarh Muslim University, , and the unconditional release of all detained protesters.
We stand in full solidarity with the students in India and all others who protest against the CAA and NRC. The students’ resistance and courage to fight back is a source of inspiration. United we can fight against the Hindutva government and state that wants to divide people along sectarian-religious lines. We call on the Indian working class to support the students fighting back against the Hindutva government. The international working class and student movements need to come forward and build solidarity with the students and the movement against the CAA and NRC and organise protests, pickets and demonstrations against the racist laws, repression and the killing of protestors!
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