Jamia committee releases video of purported police brutality inside library; political parties react

Jamia committee releases video of purported police brutality inside library; political parties react

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New Delhi, February 16

Two months after the alleged police brutality at the Jamia Millia Islamia, a new video has emerged purportedly showing paramilitary and police personnel thrashing students in the library on December 15, drawing sharp reactions from several quarters, including the Congress.

The police said they will investigate the video and two others, which appeared hours later and showed some youths with covered faces entering the library, as part of the ongoing probe into the December 15 incident.

The 48-second video, which appears to be a CCTV footage and was released by the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), purportedly shows some seven to eight paramilitary and police personnel entering the Old Reading Hall and beating up students with batons.

The paramilitary and police personnel are also seen covering their faces with handkerchiefs.

Special Commissioner of Police (Intelligence) Praveer Ranjan said the videos have come to their knowledge and they will investigate them as part of their ongoing probe.

Sources said the JCC had shared only a 48-second video in which only one side of the story was shown, but they did not show the videos in which the ‘rioters’ were seen coming inside the campus and some others were shielding them from police.

In the second clip, running around 5.25 minutes, people are purportedly seen entering the university’s library in a rush. Some have their faces covered. As soon as they enter the library, those present inside the room can be seen pushing tables and chairs to block the main door. However, it does not have details of the timing and date of the incident.

In the third video, running into 2.13 minutes, people are seen in the gangway with some covering their faces, while at least two of them are carrying stones. The footage was captured roughly at around 6.04 pm on December 15.                             

The first video was released by the JCC, a group comprising Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students and alumni. The group was formed after the alleged police brutality on the campus on December 15.

The university, however, clarified that the first video was not released by it.

The university, on December 15, had turned into a battlefield as police entered the campus to look for ‘outsiders’ who were reportedly involved in incidents of violence and arson a few metres away from the educational institute during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

A law student of the university had alleged that he lost vision in one eye due to the police action.

The JCC said it received the video from an “anonymous” source.

It also said the university has shared video footage of the police action in the library with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which is probing the episode.

Sharing the video on Twitter, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said if no action is taken even after the video, then the government’s intentions will stand exposed.

She also accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Delhi Police of “lying” that Jamia students were not beaten up inside the library.

“Look at how Delhi Police is blindly assaulting students in the library. A boy is flashing his book but the policeman is continuing to attack him with batons,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.

“Home Minister and Delhi Police lied when they said students were not beaten up in the library,” Gandhi said in another tweet.

“If no action is taken even after watching this Jamia video, the government’s intentions would stand exposed before the whole country,” she added.

CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the police’s act is “unconscionable” and “unacceptable”.

“Every defence of police action on students in universities, offered by Amit Shah, is untrue, misleading and politically motivated. Delhi police comes directly under Modi-Shah and this is how it treats young students studying in a library. Shame,” Yechury tweeted.

Meanwhile, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya said the investigating agencies must use the video as evidence, adding it was “good” of “rioters” to identify themselves.

“Students in library with ‘masks’ - Reading from shut books - Looking anxiously towards the entrance rather than being relaxed and immersed in studies, which is what a library is meant for... Anatomy of Jamia rioters who tried hiding in the library after a stone pelting session?” he posted on Twitter.

The varsity clarified that it has not released the video put out by the JCC. — PTI

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