“I Could See The Rage In The Eyes Of The Men In Uniform.”

After reaching the university at five in the evening, my classmates greeted me by handing a placard to me to write a slogan against violence. We were, at that point, obviously unaware of the brutal force that we were to be subjected to by the Delhi Police, later that night.

After the tear gas attacks got more intense, we headed to the Central Library for shelter. The shells were now thrown inside the campus. We were scared, but also certain that the police won’t come inside. We were wrong, Jamia’s safety was compromised.

We all were in tears, some because of the gas, some out of sheer fear for their lives. Unsure of anything, we formed a human chain to go out, but then decided to get inside the library. They (the police) got in there as well, and attacked whoever they could get their hands on.

All illusions of safe spaces were shattered. Chased by the police, I entered the Mosque gate. There was an announcement from the Mosque requesting the police to stop, and for the students to go home. On the other side, there was another gate, and I was safely out, but still not fine.

My friends were still trapped, some in the library, others in a washroom. They could see the rage in the eyes of the men in uniform. A friend was detained, others were beaten up and humiliated. All of us are traumatised for life, and wondering what we did to deserve this.

Source: Facebook/ Harjit Singh Bhatti

A bus was burnt in Julena, which is some distance away from the campus. The police had no business getting inside the campus and carrying this sadistic exercise of power on unarmed students. While reporting the ‘devils’, the ‘angels’ must be acknowledged as well.

Our professors were constantly in touch with us, and gave us the much-required courage and guidance to struggle through the long night. We have been rescued and are safe, at least physically. The detained friend has been released, but this trauma will remain in our minds.

We will remember, we want to. The movement will not stop.

The author is an MA Convergent Journalism student at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Featured image credit: Twitter
Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below