Cracking down Dissent!

Around a dozen students are sitting in the library with their books. Suddenly, they hear a large barge on the door. The students look at each other, foreseeing the danger, they had already locked the door.

All of a sudden, a bomb comes inside the room from the ventilator just above the door…this is a tear bomb. Within seconds, the room fills with tear gas, with all the students coughing, sneezing with tears rolling down their cheeks. Manish who was just not able to breathe, seeing no respite just opened the door.

That was just the last nail in the coffin, the police team with full-faced masks entered with their rods and started lashing out at the students, who were not even able to properly see who is beating them.

“Hey…run!!! The police have entered our campus…they are cracking down on the students” ….. “Please leave us…what have we done?”

This is the story of Inshallah University, where a huge crackdown was carried out on the students by the dictatorial government when they committed the “crime” of protesting against the ABC act.



“The government today proposes to bring the new ABC Act…this aims to amend the citizenship laws in the country. Now any immigrant, from our ‘neighbouring countries’ will be granted Indian citizenship. Conditions Apply: These immigrants can be anyone, but MUSLIMS. At the same time, we will carry out a nationwide campaign to check if everybody has proper citizenship paper, or else they would be thrown out of the country. So, basically what we are implying is that all Hindu migrants are allowed in the country but Muslim are not…HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!”


The announcement was sure to have created a stir and it did. Criticism started pouring in from across the world. The social media got filled with #BoycottABC posts. Even though there was a huge section of “conservative hardliners” who supported the Act, it was amongst the youth that the highest criticism was gushing from.

“What???”…has this government lost it completely? What they are actually implying is that Muslims are nothing but second-class citizens in this country!!!!!” screamed Junaid, the student leader of Inshallah University.

“Absolutely right!!! Bloody fascists! We should carry out a huge protest against this act. They don’t know the power of youth,” said Manas, another student, adding, “Junaid, you call out the protests, we all will come out”.

“Very well said. This has to be done now. I am going to make the announcement on social media,” Junaid said.

“Yes…but let’s just take care of one thing…our protests should be loud without any violence.

“HUGE PROTEST at the main stage outside Inshallah University campus on December 15 against the fascist and unconstitutional ABC. People are requested to join in huge numbers and give a message to the Dictator. Everyone will get to present their views and the event will be completely peaceful. Come on guys, let’s show the power of Democracy and defeat this act. JAI HIND”



A huge pool crowd took to the streets with huge banners reading “Down with the Dictator”, “F**K FASCISM” and “NO A NO B NO C”. For a while, it seemed as if a storm is emerging out of the Inshallah University. Looking at the enthusiasm, many people outside the university too joined the march. Soon students from other colleges in the national capital also started pouring there.

“Hum le kar rahenge…Azaadi”

“Fascism se…Azadi”

“Dictatorship se…Azadi”

“ABC se…Azadi”

“Hum le kar rahenge…Azaadi”…!!!!!

These and many similar slogans echoed throughout the area and no other sound was audible throughout the whole area. Many of the students also went live on social media taking their protests to wider reach.

It took both the social media as well as the government by storm. The collective sympathy started shifting against the policy and the tide started turning for the government. The criticism was already rife ever since the act was brought, but now the resentment reached its inflexion point.

The police were already deployed there, anticipating the heavy protest. As the students tried to march forward, the police barricaded the whole area. But, despite having all the intentions, they were not able to launch an attack on them as the protests ‘so far’ were peaceful. But this was not going to be the situation after half an hour.



As the slogans were echoing the area and dissent was at its peak, a huge blast occurred near the protest site. Every eye turned behind and saw that a bus parked not more than 500 metres had been engulfed in flames. Although the bus was empty, the arson lead to complete chaos in the place. Many protestors who have come from the outside start leaving the site. And, even many of the students start rushing in.

“Junaid…you had said, there would be no violence!” said a devastated Manas, and stood up.

“Bhai…come on…I have no idea how this bloody arson has taken place. You know I have been sitting here all the way,” said a worried Junaid.

“Oh…don’t tell me…you really want me to believe this shit. I am no longer a part of this. I am against ABC but not in favour of violence,” said Manas as he left the protest site and went inside the campus.

This was just the start as several students ended up following Manas and going in.

“Hey guys please…we have done no wrong…why are you feeling scared? This is all a conspiracy. Don’t give them a chance.” said Junaid, but hardly did it mattered to anyone.

Slowly, the barricades started coming off, and the police — who had got the excuse they badly needed — barged into the area. The students were left awestruck looking at the huge mob of police approaching them with rods and guns. The students actually felt terrified, but, this was nothing compared to what they were going to feel in a while from now.

The officers reached the protest site and started cracking down on the students. Here a boy fell down after being hit by the rod in the stomach, and there, the girl was pushed hard after which she collapsed right on her face. As Junaid came forward trying to resist the crackdown, four officers lifted him upside down and kicked him down the stairs, and started beating him with their rifle butts.

A unit of the police now entered right inside the campus, while other units continued their crackdown on everyone present outside. There was hardly any student visible inside the campus at that time, and the police rushed in. What happened outside was just the trailer, and the main drama awaited the students who dared to dissent.



Around a dozen students are sitting in the library, some reading books, while others writing assignments. Suddenly, they hear a large bang on the door. The students stare at each other, out of fear. They have no idea that the police have entered the campus.

All of a sudden, a bomb comes inside the room from the ventilator just above the door…it’s a tear gas shell. Within seconds, the room fills with tear gas, with all the students coughing and sneezing with tears rolling down their cheeks. They start running here and there, sometimes even heading into each other, creating complete chaos.

Manish who was just getting short of his breath, seeing no respite rushed and opens the door. That was just the last nail in the coffin. The police team with full-faced masks and long rods entered the room and started lashing out at the students.

One policeman snatched a boy with his hair and slammed him over the book rack. While, the other officer kicked another student, who fell down after rolling over the table. All this while, the students were not even able to properly see who is assaulting them.

They kept on asking “What have we done…why are you hitting us?” but for no respite.

Suddenly, the students, who were lying badly injured, heard a large crash. Upon raising their teary eyes, they saw that the officers have started vandalising the window panes. After throwing all books, and chairs here and there, the unit left the room and closed the door.

The students stood up and came towards each other. Assuming that the police have left, they came and closed the door. Well…they were mistaken.

Just when Akram turned back after putting the bolt, another tear gas shell was thrown in from outside. And, for worse it fell right on Akram’s hand. It explodes filling the room with tear gas and leaving Akram in acute pain.

As his friends tried to bring the first-aid kit, they saw that the whole box has already been crushed into pieces.



Now, the police brought the protesting students inside the campus. In five separate lines, all those who were protesting outside walked with their hands raised upwards and with constant blabberings of “Now say you want Azadi…say…you FU**ING Pakistanis”.

While, on one side, the police started beating up the lined-up students. On the other side, another police unit entered the student hostels. The rageful police started banging on the doors.

However, by now, the news has already reached many students in their ‘Toolkit’ groups that police have stormed the campus. So, most of the students were not even opening the doors. But, those who didn’t know, well….. As they opened their doors, the force barged inside and started beating them too with utmost brutality.

The police made sure to throw in a tear gas shell inside every door that wasn’t opened, so no student remains deprived of their “service”. Amid all this, Junaid, a blind boy who had no idea of what was going on outside, also came under the brunt. As the tear bomb exploded right on his laptop, several stuff in his room caught fire. All this while, Junaid kept on crying for help with tear gas chilling in his eyes and the heat of fire terrifying him.

Here, Mans along with a bunch of students came up with a plan and tried to run away from the back gate. The students got the gate opened and started getting out slowly. But, to their surprise, the police were very well deployed there too. Without wasting even a minute, the forces started their clampdown. The students started running inside in complete fear, but the police held them and brought them under control.



As the police took all of them in the same line, where other students were made to stand in line. Manas looks at an injured Junaid, who is able to stand only with Shafak’s support, with blood coming out from his mouth and head. Manas’ eyes filled with fury, and he jumped ahead pushing away the constable. He reached towards Junaid and tried to take him outside, only to be pulled back by two more constables.

“Leave me…he is injured…he needs to be taken to hospital,” Manas cried while trying to get out of the officer’s grasp.

“Wait Manas…I am fine…don’t do it” an injured Junaid uttered.

But Manas continued pushing away the officers. Getting out of grasp, he tried moving forward and…..

There was a gunshot and Manas fell down on the ground. It created complete chaos and the students started running and fleeing here and there. Junaid and Shafak rushed towards Manas and held him in their arms.

The police too understood that the matter might get serious, and also realised that their job was over. They left the students and started evacuating the college.

The officer who took the shot, however, had no remorse on his face and kept smiling with pride. It was only after getting the superior’s order that he started moving out. But, just when he came near the gate, he saw a small mosque and prayer room in the corner of the campus. He rushed towards it and smashed the window panes with blood-stained rods. After this, he moved back with a  victorious smile on his face rolling his stick like a badge of honour.




“What the hell is going on…a bunch of students have taken the whole nation by storm…why are you guys not cracking down on them?” shouted the enraged minister.

“Sir…we have barricaded the area…but the issue is they are just sitting and raising slogans, that too outside their own campus. There is no violence What can we do?” the Police Commissioner said.

“Oh man…are you an ass? How long has it been for you in the job? I will tell you how it is done. Just let my men do the job. And…if violence occurs start the crackdown.

“OK, sir!!!”

Two men reached an empty public bus, parked some distance from the Inshallah University. They poured petrol the whole of inside the bus and came out. After getting far from it, they threw the torched bottle inside and ran from within the narrow streets. While some two minutes later the whole bus was in flames. And, some hours later…also the lives of the students not much far from there.



After the police left the campus, Junaid, Manas and many more were taken to hospitals. More than 200 injuries were operated upon, including a bullet shot. Thankfully, no fatality was recorded and every student was fine, but one thing that could not have been cured was the wound in critical thinking and the courage to rise up against the oppression.

The police have a clear statement that they had to resort to violence after the students “burned down a bus” at the protest site. All the attacks on students were only part of a “counter-attack”. They also alleged that the students tried to attack the police during which a bullet was fired to “calm down” the situation.

Junaid and his fellow students kept on persuading that they have no idea about how that bus got into the fire, but the IT Cell and the Godi Media had already circulated the perception that it was the students who are guilty.

In the end, no officer was charged. The students too were left after a ‘warning’, but weren’t paid any damages. This was perhaps the most barbaric attack on students post-Emergency, but it went as unnoticed as goes around 100 beautiful cinemas every year.

At the ABC act, that continued as it was, and the government was able to turn back the public sympathy towards their side. Well…its the ‘New India’, here ‘evil’ always comes out victorious over the ‘good’.




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