Violent clashes between Delhi Police and students of Jamia Millia Islamia in the national capital spilled over into Aligarh late Sunday evening as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students fought with Uttar Pradesh Police, leading to anti-riot vehicles being called in around midnight. The violence began as students tried to hold a solidarity march to express sympathy with counterparts in Jamia, who had faced a police crackdown after their protest ended in a pitched battle with cops.
In total 10 cops and at least 20 students were reportedly injured and between 10 and 15 people have been detained. After prolonged violence between police and protesting students, the cops said the situation was "under control".
"Our personnel are deployed and the situation is under control. All necessary steps will be taken to maintain law and order. A few police personnel have been injured," Ajay Anand, Additional Director-General of Police (Law & Order), said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed for calm and has hit out at "unscrupulous elements spreading rumours about citizenship act".
"The government is committed to (ensuring the) security of every UP resident but everyone needs to follow the law; no place for those who try to disrupt law and order," he said in response to the clashes, adding, "Some unscrupulous elements (are) spreading rumours about Citizenship (Amendment) Act."
Anti-riot vehicles belonging to Aligarh Police were seen entering AMU an hour before midnight on Sunday and shortly after internet services were blocked across the city to quell protests. Police presence on campus came after a request by university officials for their intervention.
The university has been declared closed till January 5.
"In view of the current situation, we have declared winter vacations today onwards. The university will reopen on January 5. Examinations will be held after that," Abdul Hamid, the AMU Registrar, said.
Late on Sunday evening, as AMU students began their solidarity march and tried to leave the campus, cops tried to stop them at the gates of the university using barricades.
According to the police the students were informed that prohibitory orders were in place across the entire state - likely imposed last month before the Supreme Court's landmark verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case.
However the students tried to proceed on their march outside the university undeterred, and according to some reports, provoked the cops by throwing stones and chanting slogans.
This is when police claim they retaliated with a lathi-charge and the use of water cannons. Some mobile phone videos also show cops firing tear gas shells to control the crowd.
In other disturbing visuals police were also caught on camera vandalising two-wheelers on city roads.
As part of their measures to control the situation the police has demanded hostels be evacuated immediately. However, the university administration has asked for extra time. They have also requested cops to leave the campus and give them time to convince the students to leave.
The police have, for now, stopped trying to evacuate students.
Additional forces have been rushed in from adjoining districts of the state, while a Rapid Action Force team has been deployed on campus.
On Sunday evening at least 26 students were injured and 50 detained after cops entered Jamia Millia Islamia without permission from university officials. The police said they were doing what needed to be done to bring the situation - violence had broken out earlier between cops and a mob protesting the new citizenship law - under control, but powerful images of unarmed students being led away with their hands in the air touched a chord in student communities across the country.
Hyderabad's Maulana Azad Urdu University, the Benaras Hindu University and the IIT Bombay have all raised their voices. In Delhi, the Police Headquarters looked set for an all-night protest as hundreds gathered in response to a call from the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University.