Ex-Uttar Pradesh DGP Calls Use of Force in Jamia ‘Excessive’
Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Former Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Vikram Singh told The Quint that if reports of Delhi Police vandalising in Jamia Millia Islamia’s library in December last year are authentic, “a fresh case should be registered and threshold of punishment should be given to him”
Singh was reacting to exclusive CCTV footage accessed by The Quint, which goes on to show how personnel from Delhi Police and the Central Reserve Police force had first broken into the central varsity’s Old Reading Room on 15 December 2019 and beat up students who were unable to escape.
Echoing Vikram Singh, Prakash Singh, also a former UP DGP, termed the vandalisation of the CCTV camera, “which is supposed to be a record of everything that transpired”, a “regrettable act.”
‘Sticks Shouldn’t Have Touched Bodies’
In the comprehensive video accessed by The Quint, a group can be seen rushing into the reading room, while some students were already studying in the facility. A member of the group that rushed to the library and jammed the door fearing police action can also been seen with a stone in his hand. It is not clear if he is a student of the varsity.
Having looked at the video, Vikram Singh maintained that police have the right to break into the library as it seems that some miscreants had entered it and blocked the gate. However, he said the use of mild cane on those inside the library should have stopped when they were unable make an exit.
Saying that the quantum of force in the video appeared to be 'excessive', Singh maintained that the matter needs to be investigated.
Police Action Disproportionate?
YP Singh, a former senior IPS officer with Mumbai Police, said that police action in Jamia must be investigated to find out whether the police action was proportionate.
He further said that the vandalisation of CCTV, if true, is not acceptable and must be punished.
Meanwhile, Devika Prasad of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) said, “This footage attests to the excessive use of force by Delhi Police personnel on unarmed students. The students are trapped in the room and forced to hide, or try to run, to shield themselves from the police’s blows. There is no indication that the police are taking steps to lawfully apprehend anyone, supposedly with stones.”
She added, “It is clear to see the destruction of university property — chairs, desks, doors and even the CCTV camera — by the police. The clear shot of the policeman smashing the CCTV camera, with a second blow to make sure it is destroyed, reveals destruction of evidence by a public servant. This calls for full accountability of the Delhi Police, and investigation of police personnel.”