The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed the State to respond to a plea filed in the wake of police violence in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus last Sunday.
The Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Vivek Varma took note of the petitioners’ submissions that the police had entered the AMU campus for no just or valid reasons and resorted to lathi charge, apart from using tear gas, rubber bullets and pellets. The petitioner further told the Court that the police had also entered guest houses were students were hiding. Moreover, apprehension was also raised that CCTV footage evincing the incident would be tampered with so that all evidence of the AMU violence can be weeded out.
In view of these, and other, submissions, the Bench ordered,
“Having considered the facts, we deem it appropriate to have a necessary counter to the writ petition from the respondents no. 3, 4 & 5 by the next date of listing.
Let this petition for writ be listed on 2nd January, 2020.”
Further, in view of a submission that adequate medical assistance has not been provided to the students, the Bench also directed,
“The District Magistrate, Aligarh is directed to ensure all necessary medical assistance and aid, if any required to the students and persons said to be injured as a consequence to the lathi charge or by any other means during the incidence of 14.12.2019 and 15.12.2019 and also subsequent thereto, if any taken place in the campus of Aligarh Muslim University.”
Police violence in AMU followed student protests on Sunday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. Similar violence also took place in the Jamia Milia Islamia (Jamia) campus the same day.
Earlier this week, various petitioners had approached the Supreme Court to register protest against the reported police violence on Jamia and AMU campuses. However, the Supreme Court directed the petitioners to move respective jurisdictional High Courts instead.
The petition pending before the Allahabad High Court in the matter also seeks the constitution of a “Court monitored Committee” to conduct a judicial inquiry into the violent incidents. On a related note, it has been reported that a Magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the AMU violence, to be conducted by Additional district magistrate (finance) Vidhan Jaiswal.
Similar prayers have also been raised before the Delhi High Court, in plea filed with respect to the police violence in Jamia. The High Court, on Thursday, issued notice on the various petitions, which also called for a direction that no coercive action be taken against any student of the University. However, despite urging by the counsel for various petitioners, the Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari C Shankar did not pass any orders on interim protection for the students. The matter before the Delhi High Court has been scheduled to come up next on February 4.