NEW DELHI: He is one of those students who loved studying in the library and was doing just that in Jamia Millia Islamia’s Urdu Library when the police stormed in. He and a friend started running, and almost got out when he slipped and fell down near the exit door. The police descended on him with iron rods - not wooden lathis. They started beating him mercilessly, abusing all the while.

After a while they told him to get up and run, but he could not as he was unable to move his legs. He did not know what had happened at that time, all he knew was that try as he may he just could not get up. The police fell on him again, started beating him on the very wounds where he was bleeding.

His friend by this time realised he was missing and mustered the courage to come back. The cops caught him and started hitting him. He fell clutching their legs and pleading with them to let him and his friend go. He begged and somehow it worked, as by then probably the cops had to move on. His friend then dragged him towards what he thought was a secure place. And started calling their relatives and friends for help. To cut a long story of sheer terror and brutality short, an ambulance was finally arranged and he was shifted to hospital.

His family is terrified and did not want to speak to The Citizen. And did not want him identified or even for the hospital to be named. Both his legs are fractured, he is in casts from the waist downwards. He has undergone one surgery, another one is scheduled later this week. He keeps crying, more when he sees photographs of the vandalised library, the broken glass, the charred books, the blood.

As someone standying by says, “they were like animals. Goliya bhi chali thi (shots were also fired).” And another adds, “they were given a free hand to crush the voices of students. But, a free hand is given to the Army against Pakistan not against university students.” So far he is out of the media light, and his family just wants him to recover somehow as this is their first priority. But as he has told those who have met him despite the pain killers and the drugs, he is ready to go back to join the protests with his friends.