As CCTV footage of police hitting students inside the library at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15 went viral on social media, the university authorities Sunday sought to distance itself and clarified that the administration did not release the video. The university, however, confirmed that the video was from the university library but did not comment on its contents.
Jamia Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmad Khan said the footage had been given to various agencies and added that he didn’t know from where it leaked.
In an official statement, PRO Ahmed Azeem said, “It has come to our notice that some video with regard to police brutality in Dr Zakir Husain Library of the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is in circulation. This is to clarify that the video has not been released by the university.”
“The Jamia Coordination Committee, which is actually a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of students and alumni of JMI, is spearheading the movement against CAA/NRC/NPA outside Gate No 7 of the university on Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar Road. This is to clarify that JCC is not an official body of the university. Any communication from JCC should not be taken as communication from the university,” he added.
Azeem also added that “a number of Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and other users on different social media platforms are using Jamia Millia Islamia’s name, creating confusion among people”.
On the video being from Jamia library, he said, “Prima facie the footage seems to be of the MPhil & PhD section of the Old Library. Police are investigating the case.”
Asked why the university did not comment on the violence in the video, Azeem said, “We have already spoken about the violence. We have submitted a police complaint on police brutality and moved court for an FIR. We have mentioned it in our report to the MHRD as well. Today, the talk was about the footage, so we clarified that.”
The Chief Proctor said the footage had been submitted to the Delhi Police, NHRC, MHRD, the internal fact-finding team of the university as well as the Jamia Teachers’ Association. “We had, however, given it to them with the undertaking that they will not release it anywhere. We don’t know from where it has been released. There is nothing in the video that we haven’t already said. We have been saying from day one that police entered without permission, beat students and damaged our property. Still, we will inquire into the matter,” he said.
Jamia had set up two committees in December last year, around two weeks after the incident, to probe the matter. One committee was supposed to collect evidence and submit it to the other committee, which would prepare a report. Asked about the status of the report, Azeem said, “The first committee has already submitted all evidences to the second committee. They are now working on it.”
Jamia Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.
What happened on December 15
Around 3 PM
Jamia students, joined by locals, take out a march against CAA, passing through Batla House and Zakir Nagar areas
Around 4:40 PM
Buses set on fire, stones pelted by section of protesters, police use teargas, lathicharge
Around 5:45 PM
As protests spiral out of control, reports of gunshot injuries emerge, police deny claims
Around 6 PM
Police enter campus and library, lob tear gas, beat students with lathis and drags them out, some with their hands raised in the air. Some students taken to Kalkaji and NFC police stations. Police also accused of entering mosque inside campus
Around 7:30 PM
Jamia V-C condemns violence, says police did not have permission to enter campus
8 PM onwards
Injured protesters are taken to various city hospitals for treatment. Over 100 are injured
Civil society members gather outside old PHQ at ITO to protest against Jamia violence
Around 3:30 AM (Dec 16)
Around 35 students kept in police detention released, sent for MLCs
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