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[Jamia Violence] Allegations of police brutality an “utter falsehood”; Police acted with utmost restraint: Delhi Police tells Delhi HC

Aditi Singh

In response to the petitions concerning the violence that took place in Jamia Milia Islamia in December last year, the Delhi Police has contended before the Delhi High Court that allegations of police brutality are an “utter falsehood”.

It is asserted that in fact, the police acted with utmost restraint in spite of grave provocation and threat to its safety.

The averments have been made in the common preliminary affidavit filed by the Delhi Police before the High Court.

Jamia University had witnessed a very strong action from Delhi Police on December 15, 2019, following anti-Citizenship Act demonstration on its campus. The violence resulted in several students being detained at the Kalka Ji Police station and leaving several others injured.

Following a series of petitions seeking the constitution of a fact-finding committee comprising former Supreme Court or High Court Judges, medical assistance to all injured students along with compensation etc, the High Court had in December last year, directed Delhi Police and Centre to file their response.

Claiming that the Petitioners have created a patently false and fabricated picture of police brutality, the Delhi Police has alleged that true and correct facts of the incidents that took place on December 13 and 15, 2019 have not been placed before the Court.

Delhi Police has stated that Petitioners’ assertion that there was a “mere student protest” and that the "demonstration was peaceful" was not true.

“..in the garb of student agitation, what happened in fact appears to be a well-planned and orchestrated attempt by some persons with local support (who were not students) to intentionally perpetrate violence in the area.”
Delhi Police

Delhi Police has explained that the rioters were well armed with stones, lathis, petrol bombs, tube lights etc and intended to disrupt law and order. Thus, the police personnel were constrained to enter the university premises, it is stated.

"Many common men, innocent citizens and police officials suffered injuries due to the violent act of the mob .. there was widespread loss of both private and government properties."

The Court is informed that three FIRs have already been registered pursuant to the violence and investigation by Crime Branch was ongoing.

While stating that only such facts have been disclosed in the affidavit that are necessary to decide the maintainability of the writ petition, the Delhi Police has sought the Court's leave to place the facts which form part of the case diary, in a sealed cover.

It is nonetheless informed that till date, no evidence has come on record to suggest the involvement of any police officer in the commission of any offence.

In view of the above narration, the Delhi Police has submitted that the Petitioners' prayer for the constitution of a fact-finding committee was completely unfounded.

With respect to the prayers of certain Petitioners/students seeking protection from coercive action from police, the Delhi Police has argued that it is impermissible in law to seek directions under Section 438 CrPC while invoking Article226 or 482 CrPC jurisdiction.

It is impermissible in law to seek the intervention of the High Court in a criminal matter in the garb of a PIL when enough safeguards are provided under law to protect the interest of those who claim to be innocent, it stated.

It is also claimed that medical assistance was provided to all those who were injured and as of now, no person is in detention.

The affidavit has been filed through Central Government Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Advocate Rajat Nair.

The Petitions will be heard by the Delhi High Court tomorrow.

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