The Aligarh Muslim University campus will be evacuated today and all students will be sent home, the Uttar Pradesh police chief told NDTV, a day after students at the university clashed with the police. The escalating protests had hit the prestigious university, with the students, bent on holding a march in solidarity with their counterparts at Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia, clashing with the police. The police chief said the cops acted with restraint and denied receiving reports of vandalism by the policemen.
"We are evacuating AMU today, we will send all students home," UP Director General of Police OP Singh said.
"We have received no reports of any vandalism by the police," he added. The statement comes even as disturbing visuals of the city police showing the police smashing bikes on the streets in Aligarh, firing tear gas shells from the main gate of the campus amid protests caused immense outrage.
In videos circulated from the Aligarh campus on social media, at least three policemen were seen injured as the students targeted them with stones.Ten policemen and around 30 students were injured and the police demanded that the students vacate the hostels.
Around 15 students have been arrested, Mr Singh said. "We will identify and act against everyone who indulged in violence," he said.
"The process of hostel vacation is on and 25 to 30 per cent of them have been vacated. The rest of the hostel is expected to be vacated by the evening," Aliagarh police chief Akash Kulhary told news agency PTI over phone.
The violence began as students tried to hold a solidarity march to express sympathy with the Jamia students, who had faced a police crackdown after their protest ended in a pitched battle with cops.
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.
"We acted with utmost restraint and never ever entered any hostel," Mr Singh said. "We were authorised to use force by the AMU Vice-Chancellor , but remained spectators till things got out of hand," he added.
AMU Proctor Professor Afifullah Khan said some security personnel were injured in the protests, news agency PTI reported. In a mobile clip, a senior officer of the Rapid Action Force is seen injured as he urges colleagues to give him his helmet.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed for calm on Sunday and hit out at "unscrupulous elements spreading rumours about citizenship act".
(With inputs from PTI)
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)