While people have been opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) for being unconstitutional since it was first passed by the parliament, the fierce movement grew stronger and angrier after students at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia were brutally beaten up by the police on December 15. In fact police brutality appears to be a recurring theme amidst the ceaseless outrage—from the Jamia incident to similar ones at Jawaharlal Nehru University to the rising death toll in Uttar Pradesh. Now, reports accusing the Delhi police of using toxic chemical spray against student protesters at Jamia are surfacing and creating an unsettling situation.
The Delhi police allegedly used an unknown gas that students claimed made them feel suffocated, caused stomach pain and made their eyes itch. “Protesters are panicking and complaining of suffocation, stomach ache and pains in their abdomen and chest,” Dr Azeem, who is treating victims at Alshifa Hospital told The Telegraph, stressing that the symptoms were different from those seen when people are exposed to pepper spray. “One of the protesters is really finding difficulty breathing even after several medications so, he has been shifted to an ICU.”
Activists claim the chemical used could be tear gas or chlorine gas in low concentration. Meanwhile, more than 10 students from Jamia have come forward to claim that when the police lathi charged their protest march from the university to the Parliament, they also hit at women’s private parts. "More than 10 woman students have been hit on their private parts. We have found blunt injuries on some of the protesters," the doctors at Al-Shifa hospital told India Today.
Even as Delhi awaits the results of the state assembly elections, the clashes between student protesters and the police are intensifying, as students refuse to back down in the battle against brutality.
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