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Among other recommendations, the NHRC has also recommended that the police and other law enforcement agencies be sensitised " to show utmost professionalism" when tackling law and order situations.
The Allahabad High Court on Monday ordered that “suitable action” be taken against delinquent police officers found to have indulged in “unnecessarily caning” students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and damaging vehicles during student protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 in December (Mohd. Aman Khan vs UOI and ors.).
On the Court’s orders, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had submitted a report on the alleged police violence that took place on the AMU campus. The NHRC, in turn, presented the following recommendations based on their probe into the issue, i.e.
The Uttar Pradesh government be directed to provide suitable compensation to six students for grievous injuries sustained during the violence.
The Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh identify the police officers, based on CCTV footage, involved in damaging vehicles and unnecessarily caning the students. Further it was recommended that suitable action may be taken against the errant police officers
The police force should be sensitised and special training modules should be carried out to inculcate professionalism in handling such situations.
Similar directions for sensitisation should also be given to the Director General, CRPF for RAF. RAF, being a specialised force primarily set up to deal with riots and handle law and order situations. These forces should be sensitised to show utmost professionalism in such crisis situations while at the same time, respecting the human rights of civilians.
The police should be advised to set up a robust intelligence gathering system. Special steps may be taken to counter rumour mongering and circulation of distorted and false news especially on the social media.
The AMU-Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other authorities should be directed to establish a mechanism of better communication with the students' fraternity so that they are not influenced by outsiders and rusticated unruly students. They should take up all confidence building measures to rebuild the trust of students so that such incidents do not occur in future
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal, in turn, has directed that the NHRC’s recommendations be implemented at the earliest.
Further a compliance report is also to be submitted before the Court on the next date of hearing on March 25.
Police violence in AMU followed student protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. Similar violence also took place at the Jamia campus the same day.
Various petitioners had initially approached the Supreme Court against the reported police violence on the two campuses. However, the Supreme Court directed the petitioners to move respective jurisdictional High Courts instead.
Last month, the High Court found that the photographs presented by the petitioners reflected the possible violation of human rights on the AMU campus. The Bench, therefore, found that the matter demanded an independent probe and proceeded to the direct the NHRC to carry out the same.
[Read the Order passed on Monday]