Court Dismisses Jamia’s Plea Against Police Brutality on Students

The alleged police attack on students took place during the anti-CAA protests on 15 December 2019.

Published
India
2 min read
A candle march to mark one year of the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia on 15 Dec, 2020.
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A Delhi Court on Thursday, 3 February, dismissed a petition filed by Jamia Millia Islamia seeking action against Delhi Police for allegedly using excessive force inside the campus in 2019, saying that police personnel were "acting in order to control the law and order situation".

The alleged police attack on students took place during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on 15 December 2019. The petition, filed by the varsity administration, claimed that the police had “entered the varsity campus without permission and subjected students to brutality”.

Metropolitan Magistrate Rajat Goyal said that the lack of restraint exhibited by the police and excesses committed in trying to control the situation are "very much related to official duties".

The court further said that the actions of police in doing so are clearly connected to their official duties, though "some of the said actions might be questionable".

Police Acted to Control Protests: Court

The Metropolitan Magistrate said that it is an undisputed fact that all the respondents were acting in order to control the law and order situation which had emerged in relation to the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

"This court has no hesitation in holding that acts allegedly committed by the respondents fall within the purview of Section 197 of CrPC, being acts committed in discharge of official duties," the court order emphasised.

It further stated that the police acted to control the protests, to prevent violence and the law and order situation from further deteriorating.

"Though it could be argued that while so acting, the police had allegedly exceeded their jurisdiction and used more force than necessary in some instances, it cannot be said, by any stretch of imagination, that the said acts allegedly committed by the respondents were wholly unconnected to their official duty," the order added.

One of the videos taken on 15 December 2019, tweeted by the Jamia Coordination Committee, showed the police entering a reading hall at the university and indiscriminately hitting students with sticks. The police denied entering the library.

Armed policemen enter the reading hall and beat up students.
Armed policemen enter the reading hall and beat up students.
(Photo: The Quint/ Screen grab of the fresh video)

Two other videos from the same evening purportedly showed students hiding in a room, taking cover after police personnel hurling tear gas shells and the police breaking the room open and thrashing them, according to the Jamia Coordination Committee.

The video shows armed policemen entering a hall and thrashing students who were purportedly studying there.
The video shows armed policemen entering a hall and thrashing students who were purportedly studying there.
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot of CCTV footage released by Jamia Coordination Committee)

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