Nearly 10 days after the police action against protesting students in New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, the Peoples’ Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) on Thursday, 26 December, released a fact-finding report called ‘The Bloody Sunday 2019.’
In the intervening days between 13-15 December, the students of the university were protesting against the newly passed Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.
The fact-finding report called the police action on Jamia students “brutal and ruthless”, said that students who were not protesting were also attacked, and pointed out that the injured were denied timely medical attention.
At least 35 students were severely injured and many others detained in the attack by police.
1. Crackdown on Students on 13 December Forms Backdrop
- The report said that the decision by the Delhi Police to disallow students from conducting a march to Parliament on 13 December was followed by the use of “brute force in the form of an excessive and indiscriminate lathi charge”.
- The aim of the police personnel was not limited to managing the crowd but was aimed at “causing injury to students,” the report said.
- The police force caused wanton damage to vehicles parked nearby, and detained over 50 students.
- The police action ensured that more students and residents gathered for subsequent protests in the area.
2. Excessive Use of Force Both Outside JMI Campus
- The fact-finding report called the police action near Mathura Road “ruthless, unrelenting and cruel” adding that there is no evidence of attempt by the cops asking protesters to stop.
- The police action continued well after the crowds started to disperse.
- Protesters who were retreating were also subjected to assault, the report added.
- It also found that the police used firearms with live rounds, without any authorisation or necessary safeguards.
3. Brutal Attack on Students Inside the Campus
- The report finds that the police not only entered the campus without authorisation but also did not inform the campus administration.
- The destruction of CCTV cameras by the police force at the gate, inside the campus, and at the library and reading rooms is “clear evidence” of the police’s intention and amounted to criminal offences, the report said.
- It noted that students, guards and some other employees were subject to severe beating with the lathi, amid a barrage of communal abuses.
- The force used was sufficient to “cause deep gashes and bone fractures,” and the nature of injuries make it clear that they were “intended to cause maximal damage.”
- It said that those students who were not involved in the protests were also attacked by the cops.
4. Deliberate Denial of Medical Help
- While those detained were prevented access to family members and lawyers, they were also denied medical aid, the fact-finding report said.
- The students were able to access hospitals only after they were released.
- “These include reports of injured receiving treatment being removed from hospital, ambulances being prevented from reaching the injured,” the report concluded.