New Delhi, August 28: The Delhi high court on Friday sought to know from the Delhi Police whether their action against the students on the Jamia Milia Islamia campus last December, during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), was proportionate to the police’s claims that weapons were stored on the campus to attack the police.
After an anti-CAA protest turned violent on December 15, the police had entered the campus, cane charged students and detained them and also used tear gas shells.
“Even if we assume that the action taken by police was legitimate, was it proportionate? Does it justify what the police have done? Was it as per the ethical standards of policing?, a bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice Prateek Jalan asked additional solicitor general Aman Lekhi, Hindustan Times reported.
The bench was hearing a bunch of pleas pertaining to the Jamia violence, seeking relief and registration of FIRs against erring police personnel. The court’s poser came after ASG Lekhi contended that the police action was warranted and the police had asked the students to maintain restrain. He said the students inside the varsity, however, got violent and started pelting stones, bricks, bottles, etc at the police.
“Despite multiple warnings, students continued to pelt stones and destroy barricades,” he said.
He submitted said that the unruly mob did not even spare school buses and six buses were burnt. He said the mob had blocked the roads and there was heavy stone pelting from inside the campus.
“A university is supposed to have books and academics, where did all these objects come from? A university has to be a place of learning and not of violence and arson,” Lekhi said. “The objective of that mob was to overawe the law with the use of criminal force,” he said, while adding that the facts squarely fit into the definition of an unlawful assembly, and hence the police action was warranted.
Following arguments, the court posted the matter for further hearing to September 18.
Violence has broken out in the varsity after student protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Police have been accused of entering the university campus and assaulting students after a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent on December 15.
At least 10 vehicles were allegedly torched by protesters. The Jamia students had said they were not involved in the violence and that their peaceful march was hijacked by outsiders.