Jamia Violence: Delhi HC to hear plea seeking constitution of a Fact-finding Committee tomorrow

Jamia Violence: Delhi HC to hear plea seeking constitution of a Fact-finding Committee tomorrow

The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear a plea seeking the constitution of a fact-finding committee to look into the incidents of violence which took place at Jamia Milia Islamia University following protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.

The matter was mentioned for urgent hearing before a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Rekha Palli by the counsel for the petitioner.

The Court will hear the plea tomorrow.

The petitioner, Rizwan, has claimed that the Delhi Police resorted to the use of arbitrary, excessive, discriminatory and illegal force against students on false pretext of restoring law and order. It is submitted that students were peacefully protesting in exercise of their fundamental rights which was disrupted by the Delhi Police.

The petition states, inter alia,

“… as per various accounts by the students and multiple videos readily available, the said protest and exercise of the fundamental rights by the Students of Jamia Millia University was disrupted by the Delhi Police, by using unjustified, excessive, arbitrary and brute force, in total disregard of Law and conventions. That the Students were mercilessly beaten, hurled abuses, racial and derogatory comments were herald, expired tear-gasshells were fired, Lathi Charge was done. That the said acts were done indiscriminately against the male and female students.”

The petitioner further submits that the police had also attacked nearby residents and  journalists at the scene, apart from vandalising property to create terror.

” … not only the students and the faculty members, even journalists and news reporters were reported to have been harassed and man-handled by the police. BBC journalist by the name Bushra Sheikh was trying to cover the story at Jamia Millia Islamia University when the police officials attempted to pull her hair, snatched her mobile phone, and broke it. When she tried to resist, the officials abused her and used a baton upon her.

… officials were also reported to have tear-gassed and lathi- charged the residents of Okhla Vihar, Jamia Nagar, Batla House and areas of New Friends Colony. As per the media reports, the police officials are responsible for setting 3 public buses on fire and vandalizing the residential areas thereby creating terror in the minds of the people. Also, the police officials are responsible for causing loss of public property and loss to the property of Jamia Milla Islamia University.”

The petitioner has thus claimed that the Delhi Police’s conduct resulted in the violation of the victims’ fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles  14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 25, 29, and 30 of the Constitution.

Apart from seeking the constitution of a fact finding committee which would consist of the former Supreme Court or High Court Judges, the petitioner also seeks a direction of no coercive action against the students pursuant to any FIR registered against them, till the Committee gives its findings.

The petitioner further seeks a direction to the Delhi Government to provide medical assistance to all injured students along with compensation.

A direction is also sought against the Delhi Police, asking them not to enter University premises without the requisite permission from the authorities.

The petition has been filed through advocates Tariq Khan and Apoorv Singhal.

The petitioners have moved the High Court pursuant to the Supreme Court’s direction asking the aggrieved parties to approach the High Court.

[Read the Petition]

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