Delhi Police, in a counter-affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court, denied allegations of brutality on students of Jamia Millia Islamia in December last year, calling the claims ‘utter falsehood’.
The response dismissed the need for a special investigation into the police action which triggered large criticism from around the globe.
“The petitioners have not placed true and correct facts of incidents dated 13.12.2019 and 15.12.2019 and have created a patently false and fabricated picture of police brutality,” the affidavit filed on Thursday by Rajesh Deo, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, said.
“The averments by the petitioner, which are nothing but a mere hearsay, that there was a ‘police brutality’ is an utter falsehood and ought not be believed by this honorable court,” the affidavit reads.
The Delhi Police also told the HC that “the incidents were violent and the crowd involved in the incidents was riotous”.
“I state that as such the prayers made by the petitioners to restrain the respondents from entering the subject University without permission of the University Administration; not take any coercive action including arrest against the students studying in Jamia Milia University and withdraw the excessive force from the campus, and to quash all criminal proceedings initiated against students of the Universities, are completely untenable in law and are liable to be rejected at the outset,” the affidavit also states.
Visuals of police action made huge outcry last winter triggering masses to join the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in solidarity.
“It is very disappointing to know the response of the Delhi police in which they said that there is no need for investigation in Jamia police violence”, says Nabila Hasan, who filed the public interest litigation on behalf of students.
“It is the principle of law that a person cannot be a judge in its own cause. In Jamia violence, the accused persons are Delhi Police. Technically they should not investigate this matter” Nabila told Maktoob.
“There are students like Mohammed Minhajuddin who had lost his eyesight in the police violence. They filed complaints and no action has been taken to the date,” she said.
The university officials, students, and alumni association had filed separate police complaints against the brutal action of unruly policemen who beat students and damaged university property. Police, however, are yet to register an FIR in the matter.
“How can police deny their action which has visual evidence and which made grave injuries and trauma to students,” ask Fadil Abdulla, a student of Psychology in Jamia Millia.
Many visuals which demonstrated brutal actions of police inside the library and University premises were submitted by the petitioner.
On 15 December 2019, students of Jamia Millia Islamia held protests against the CAA for the third consecutive day. That day, the students had conducted peaceful protests within the university premises. Yet, the Delhi Police forced their way into campus and attacked the protesting students with brute force, using lathis and tear gas.
Numerous accounts revealed that the police personnel hit every student they could find, even in places such as the library, the mosque, the canteen, and the bathrooms.
The police broke open the mosque and vandalized it while people were offering their prayers and man-handled the Imam.
The CCTV video footage exclusively released by Maktoob showed police attacking students. In the five-minute-long clip, police and paramilitary personnel are shown breaking down the door and barging into the reading room. Most have their faces covered.