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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Entered Jamia to save students: Delhi Police

Metropolitan Magistrate Rajat Goyal had directed police to file an ATR on a plea by Jamia, which sought registration of an FIR against police action on students at the university on December 15.

Written by Anand Mohan J | New Delhi | Published: March 17, 2020 1:31:22 am
Delhi police Jamia violence, Jamia University violence Police, Delhi city news Delhi Police said it could not distinguish between students trapped inside and rioters who carried petrol bombs. (Reuters)

The Delhi Police, in their action taken report (ATR) submitted to a Delhi court on the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) last year, have claimed that they were “constrained” to enter the campus to contain the violence and save innocent students trapped inside.

Metropolitan Magistrate Rajat Goyal had directed police to file an ATR on a plea by Jamia, which sought registration of an FIR against police action on students at the university on December 15.

The plea was filed by advocate Asghar Khan, who submitted that Delhi Police beat up students, hurled abuses and made derogatory comments. He also submitted that some police personnel broke open the main library gate and lobbed teargas shells.

In their reply to the court, Delhi Police submitted, “With a view to contain the violence and maintain law and order, police was constrained to enter the university campus. Police personnel could successfully contain the violent activity by temporarily apprehending 52 persons under Section 65 of the Delhi Police Act… It is submitted that the said action was required to be taken in light of the ongoing violence from within the university campus and to rescue innocent students trapped inside, and to ensure normalcy.”

JMI had submitted that despite several requests and complaints to police seeking registration of an FIR and action against the accused persons, neither has any FIR been registered nor has a probe been carried out.

Police, in their reply, stated the complaint filed by Jamia’s registrar was “generalised in nature, and since the individuals have already filed writs in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi seeking redressal of their general grievances, it is, therefore, requested that the present application may be kindly dismissed”.

The ATR also stated that police could not distinguish between students who were trapped and rioters who carried petrol bombs. “All were asked to evacuate with their ‘hands up’ since this exercise was undertaken as it was already dark in the late evening,” the report read.

JMI submitted that there was huge loss to government property, and there is video and photographic evidence that shows police vandalising university property. Police claimed they had to disperse a mob by resorting to “mild force and teargas shells”.

They said the mob “strategically entered the campus as a cover, started pelting stones, tube lights, and other objects”, and “police had reached outside the university campus to avoid any untoward incident”.

JMI also submitted to the court a list of photographs of students with injuries, and said, “The injuries received by the students are grievous in nature, and one of the students even lost an eye.”

The ATR stated: “All individuals (which include students) were taken to the hospital from where most of them left… after taking necessary treatment.”

Police submitted that no student was arrested in the case. They said two FIRs have been registered and 10 persons arrested in connection with both cases. The ATR stated: “Rioters had destroyed/damaged lights within the campus and, therefore, it was difficult to distinguish (between) innocent students and rioters.”

On December 15, teargas shells were fired on the campus and students were lathicharged. Videos had also emerged showing uniformed personnel in riot gear beating students with batons and lathis inside the library. Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan had said: “We have to verify the footage, see if it’s been doctored.”

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