New Delhi: The Jamia Alumni Association has filed a complaint against the Delhi Police for trespassing, criminal intimidation, brutality, causing grievous hurt and assault on the university’s students on December 15.
The complaint comes days after purported footage from CCTV cameras were made public. Police and paramilitary personnel can be seen thrashing students in one of the videos. In another, they can be seen raining batons on students trying to escape.
While police have held that the sequence of events is being established, this is the first official complaint lodged by a body against its personnel since the December violence in and around Jamia.
The complaint, copies of which were tweeted by journalist Saahil Murli Menghani, make claims that have long since been made by students who were in and around campus on the day.
“Cops in blatant abuse of state
machinery & in colourable exercise of power, without any provocation or warning, started firing tear gas & stun grenades at both Jamia students & alumni peacefully protesting outside the University & non-protesting students.
— Saahil Murli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) February 18, 2020
The complaint alleges that police used state machinery and power with no provocation or warning. Tear gas shells and stun grenades were fired at students protesting peacefully outside the varsity gates, it alleges.
Among other allegations made in the complaint are that police thrashed ex-servicemen deployed as guards at the gates to gain entry into the university, and that they broke the glasses in the library, causing a range of injuries to students.
Mention of the allegation that is being made widely on social media – that police broke the CCTV cameras before indulging in even more grievous violence – has been made in the complaint too.
The Alumni Association also says that police could be heard saying the following phrases while carrying out the violence: ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Maaro saalo mullo ko’, ‘Nikal be Pakistani’, ‘Kalma padhlo sab’ and ‘In saalo ko azaadi dete hai’. All are understood to be communal in nature.
Special Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Praveer Ranjan told PTI that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the December 15 violence will analyse all the video clips to establish the exact sequence of the events leading to that day’s incident.
“Once the sequence of events is established, we will identify all those involved in the violence and action as per law will be taken. By just seeing the videos being released on social media, it will not be appropriate to declare at this point of time that those present inside the Jamia campus or its library were innocent,” the special commissioner was quoted as having said..
The Jamia Coordination Committee issued a statement saying that it was not in possession of the latest video or any other such footage as the administration denied it access citing that they will be sharing relevant footage with the people concerned when approached through official channels.
“The students who are being seen in these videos have clearly gone through a lot in the past two months. The humiliation, pain and horror is still fresh in their minds. Many students in the videos are seen shaking inconsolably and panicking in a terrorised state and have taking psychiatric help,” it added.