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Jamia committee releases video of purported police brutality inside library; political parties react

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 16-02-2020 18:23 IST | Created: 16-02-2020 18:23 IST
Jamia committee releases video of purported police brutality inside library; political parties react

Two months after the alleged police brutality at the Jamia Millia Islamia, a new video has emerged purportedly showing paramilitary and police personnel beating up students in the library on December 15, drawing sharp reactions from several political leaders, including Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The university, however, clarified that the video was not released by it even as the police said they will examine the footage.

The 48-second video, which appears to be a CCTV footage, 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. The video was released by the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), a group comprising Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students and alumni. The group was formed after the alleged police brutality on the campus on December 15.

The university, on December 15, had turned into a battlefield as police entered the campus to look for 'outsiders' who were reportedly involved in incidents of violence and arson a few metres away from the educational institute during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. A law student of the university had alleged that he lost vision in one eye due to the police action.

Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan said the video has come to their knowledge and they will investigate it as part of their ongoing probe. The Jamia Coordination Committee said it received the video from an "anonymous" source.

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. Sharing the video on Twitter, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said if no action is taken even after the video, then the government's intentions will stand exposed.

She also accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Delhi Police of "lying" that Jamia students were not beaten up inside the library. "Look at how Delhi Police is blindly assaulting students in the library. A boy is flashing his book but the policeman is continuing to attack him with batons," she said in a tweet in Hindi.

"Home Minister and Delhi Police lied when they said students were not beaten up in the library," Gandhi said in another tweet. "If no action is taken even after watching this Jamia video, the government's intentions would stand exposed before the whole country," she added.

CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the police's act is "unconscionable" and "unacceptable". "Every defence of police action on students in universities, offered by Amit Shah, is untrue, misleading and politically motivated. Delhi police comes directly under Modi-Shah and this is how it treats young students studying in a library. Shame," Yechury tweeted.

BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya, however, 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.

The varsity clarified that it has not released the video which is circulating on social media showing some men in paramilitary and police personnel uniform beating up students in the university's library on December 15. "It has come to our notice that some video with regard to police brutality in Dr Zakir Husain Library of the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is in circulation. This is to clarify that the video has not been released by the university," the institute's public relations officer Ahmad Azeem said.

According to the public relations officer, the JCC is spearheading the stir against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens on the Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar Road outside the university's gate number seven. "This is to clarify that JCC is not an official body of the university. Any communication from JCC should not be taken as version of the university," Azeem said.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) also criticised the Delhi Police for their use of force in the varsity and accused them of allowing "terrorists" to barge inside JNU on January 5. "The country MUST wake up to the realities of the criminal Modi-Shah regime,their use of force to hound the students of this nation&stifle dissent. As students,we have a question for DelhiPolice: How do you look into your own children's eyes? Is saying #ShameonDelhiPolice enough? (sic)," the JNUSU tweeted.

"Remember when Delhi Police stood at the gates and allowed terrorists to attack students and teachers in JNU on 5th Jan? Remember when Delhi Police stood by and allowed a terrorist gunman to shoot at a student at Jamia? Now watch the video again. #ShameonDelhiPolice is not enough (sic)," it said. Hashtags like #jamiaviolence, #ShameonDelhiPolice, #jamiaunderattack and #jamiaprotests were trending on Twitter.




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