Many residents of Jamshedpur who are in Delhi and other parts of the country are planning to come back after police thrashed students on the campuses of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University on Sunday, and roughed up protesters at Delhi University on Monday.
Adela Afreen, 29, who stays in Jamia Nagar, said she witnessed firsthand the police brutality on Sunday. A traumatised Afreen said she had decided to come back to Jamshedpur, her hometown, on Tuesday.
She said she was a part of the protest march scheduled from Jamia Nagar to Jantar Mantar when midway police started stopping them.
“I wanted to support the students in the protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and thus I went to Friend’s Colony and joined the protest around 4:30pm. The protest, though it attracted thousands of students, was very peaceful. Within just 15 minutes when the crowd reached (Sarai) Jullena, the police started lathi charge and using teargas,” said Afreen, an entrepreneur who has been living in Delhi for the past two-and-half years.
“The crowd scattered in fear. The police gave no prior intimation. I somehow saved myself, seeking refuge in a private property. I too felt suffocated due to the teargas and saw people crying too. The situation was really bad. I saw people who were bleeding. I also saw a woman in her fifties who was injured and was being taken by students to a safer place,” Afreen said.
“It was an experience I will not forget soon. The place where I live was swarmed by police and by then the policemen had entered Jamia Millia Islamia University and had started creating ruckus,” she added.
Steel city youth Israr-ul-Haque, 25, who stays in the Batla House area, had to walk over 10km to reach his place and then shifted to Shaheen Bagh at a friend's place. He was attending his digital marketing classes in Noida when the news broke. Usually he takes a Metro from Botanical Gardens to Jamia Millia Islamia but on Monday the Metro lines were blocked and Israr had to get off the train at Kalindi Kunj.
“I may have walked for more than 10km yesterday (Sunday). The entire aware was filled with police. I somehow grabbed some of my essentials and went to Shaheen Bagh to stay with my friend which is a safer zone about 3km from my place,” said Israr, who works as a public relations manager.
He said he would come home on December 24 if the situation was stable.
“The police and the politicians must understand that they are aggravating an already tense situation,” said Subrata Laik, an MBA student of Arka Jain University in Gamharia.
“As a student, I am now just praying for peace.”