A day after students and journalists were allegedly beaten up by police in Delhi University’s North Campus, two constables and a head constable have been suspended. Investigation into why violence broke out on campus, meanwhile, has been transferred to the Crime Branch.
Sources claimed that during the preliminary probe, police found that a few of their officers had deliberately entered into the scuffle and even removed their badges so they wouldn’t be identified.
According to police sources, a few constables and head constables did not pay heed to instructions of their seniors to show restraint. “Pictures and video recordings of the incident have been collected from various sources, and three officers have been suspended,” said Special Commissioner of Police (southwestern range) Dependra Pathak.
Sources also said some policemen entered into a scuffle while trying to ensure that people didn’t record the incident. An inspector-rank officer, who did not wish to be identified, told The Indian Express that some of his juniors did not pay heed to his instructions when clashes between different student groups broke out near Patel Chest chowk.
“I told them repeatedly to stop beating students and mediapersons, but they did not listen. Some of them had removed their badges. Photographs showing them in action have been collected,” the inspector said.
The two suspended constables are posted at the police station, while the head constable is posted in the security unit, sources said. Pathak said the role of each personnel accused of behaving inappropriately will be investigated.
“Police will also investigate allegations of mediapersons being attacked. We have received complaints from them and action will be taken,” said Pathak.
Sources said the Crime Branch has also started the process of identifying students involved in the brawl. Some teachers, too, are under scanner, sources said. A case under various IPC sections has been registered at Maurice Nagar police station, with sources saying more sections, including that of molestation, could be added. Police continued to patrol the campus on Thursday.
Police sought legal opinion on ‘sedition’
Police sources said they had collected footage purportedly showing “azadi slogans” being raised on campus. Sources said senior police officers had sought a legal opinion onwhether or not to slap sedition charges against students who raised the alleged slogans.
However, after an elaborate discussion, it was decided to not “hurry” and eventually they decided against a sedition case. About one year ago, the Delhi Police had faced flak for slapping sedition charges on three JNU students.