Two months after the alleged police brutality at the Jamia Millia Islamia, a new video has emerged purportedly showing paramilitary and police personnel thrashing students in the library on December 15, drawing sharp reactions from several quarters, including the Congress.
The video contradicts the Delhi Police’s claim that they never forcibly entered the campus and assaulted the students.
The Jamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar had in December said police officials entered the university campus without due permission from the administration.
The police said they will investigate the video and two others, which appeared hours later and showed some youths with covered faces entering the library, as part of the ongoing probe into the December 15 incident.
The 48-second video, which appears to be a CCTV footage and was released by the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), purportedly shows some seven to eight paramilitary and police personnel entering the Old Reading Hall and beating up students with batons. The paramilitary and police personnel are also seen covering their faces with handkerchiefs.
Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan said the videos have come to their knowledge and they will investigate them as part of their ongoing probe.
Meanwhile, sources quoted by PTI have stated that the JCC had shared only a 48-second video in which only one side of the story was shown, but they did not show the videos in which the ‘rioters’ were seen coming inside the campus and some others were shielding them from the police.
In the second clip, running around 5.25 minutes, people are purportedly seen entering the university’s library in a rush. Some have their face covered. As soon as they enter the library, those present inside the room can be seen pushing tables and chairs to block the main door. However, it does not have details of the timing and date of the incident.
In the third video, running into 2.13 minutes, people are seen in the gangway with some covering their faces, while at least two of them are carrying stones. The footage was captured roughly at around 6.04 pm on December 15.
The first video, which allegedly shows Delhi Police personnel assaulting students in the university library, was released by a group representing the students and alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI). It was tweeted by the Jamia Coordination Committee. The JCC said it received the video from an “anonymous” source.
Exclusive CCTV Footage of Police Brutality in Old Reading Hall, First floor-M.A/M.Phill Section on
Shame on you @DelhiPolice @ndtvindia @ttindia @tehseenp @RanaAyyub @Mdzeeshanayyub @ReallySwara @ANI @CNN @ReutersIndia @AltNews @BBCHindi @the_hindu @TheQuint @BDUTT pic.twitter.com/q2Z9Xq7lxv
— Jamia Coordination Committee (@Jamia_JCC) February 15, 2020
It also said the university has shared video footage of the police action in the library with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which is probing the episode.
The university, however, clarified that the first video was not released by it.
The institute’s public relations officer Ahmad Azeem also sought to clarify that JCC is not an official body of the university.
Violence erupted following a clash between police and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students who were protesting against the amended Citizenship Bill on December 15 last year. As many as 14 buses were burnt and 20 private vehicles were torched in the violence. Police used batons and teargas and were seen chasing protesters through the streets.
Sixty-seven people, including 31 police officers, sustained injuries and a total of 47 persons, including students, were detained.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) also slammed the Delhi Police for their use of force in the varsity and accused them of allowing “terrorists” to barge inside JNU on January 5.
Amidst all the drama, the Delhi High Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre, Delhi Police and the Delhi government on a petition by a student named Shayyan Mujeeb seeking compensation of Rs 2 crore for his injuries. He has claimed that he was sitting in the Jamia university’s library and was severely injured in the December violence. He further said that he has spent Rs 2.5 lakhs as his both legs were fractured.
They have to submit their response by May 27.
Meanwhile, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya said the investigating agencies must use the video as evidence, adding it was “good” of “rioters” to identify themselves.
“Students in library with ‘masks’ – Reading from shut books – Looking anxiously towards the entrance rather than being relaxed and immersed in studies, which is what a library is meant for… Anatomy of Jamia rioters who tried hiding in the library after a stone pelting session?” he posted on Twitter.
Reacting on the development, the Opposition led by the Congress has reiterated its demand for action against the Delhi police.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted (in Hindi), “See how Delhi Police is badly thrashing the students. A boy is reading a book but a cop continues to beat him. Home Minister (Amit Shah) and Delhi Police had lied that they had not entered the library, thrashed the students.”
“After watching this video, if no action is taken against police action at Jamia… the intention of the government will be exposed,” she added.
Shashi Tharoor, another senior Congress leader said, “CCTV footage has emerged showing police assaulting Jamia students without provocation. Horrifying. Exemplary punishment must be levied on these lawless policemen.”
(With PTI inputs)