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[Jamia Violence] Completely wrong to say that force used by Delhi Police was not proportionate, ASG Aman Lekhi before Delhi HC

ASG Lekhi claimed that the intention of the mob was to indulge in violent activity, and not to hold a peaceful protest.

Aditi Singh

Delhi Police was constrained to enter Jamia Millia Islamia in December last year after the unruly mob "strategically" entered the campus, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi argued before the Delhi High Court on Friday.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan was petitions concerning the violence that broke out at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019.

Appearing for Delhi Police, ASG Lekhi said that a mob of over 2,000 people, which had allegedly gathered for a peaceful protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, had become violent and unruly.

"Local leaders and politicians were provoking (the gathering) and making objectionable, inciting slogans. Such slogans do not get the protection of free speech", ASG Lekhi submitted.

He claimed that the intention of the mob was to indulge in violent activity, and not to hold a peaceful protest.

ASG Lekhi added that although the mob used lathis, petrol bombs, tubelights and stones, Delhi Police took action only after issuing multiple and repeated warnings.

"I will not call them students.. I will call them mob.", he remarked as he claimed that buses, private vehicles were set ablaze.

The Court was further informed that the mob was declared unlawful after it became "ungovernable".

"Having no option, tear gas and moderate force were used", ASG Lekhi explained.

Ultimately, when the mob "strategically" entered the Jamia campus and started pelting stones from inside, the Delhi Police was constrained to enter the varsity, ASG Lekhi said.

He further said that the gravity of threat posed by the mob justified the reaction by Delhi Police.

"Completely wrong to say that our force was not proportionate", ASG Lekhi said.

It was also argued that the case being pleaded by Delhi Police was consistent with the findings of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC).

The matter will be heard next on September 18.

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