Court seeks police reply on plea seeking ‘fair’ probe into Jamia violence in December

Police personnel conduct a march after the violent protests that erupted against Citizenship Amendment Act near Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. File

Police personnel conduct a march after the violent protests that erupted against Citizenship Amendment Act near Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. File

A Delhi court on Friday sought a response from the city police on a plea claiming that the agency was not conducting a fair probe into the violence during an anti- Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest near Jamia Millia Islamia University last month.

The petitioner also sought a court-monitored investigation into the incident. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur directed the Delhi Police to file its reply by February 5.

The plea was filed by All India Students’ Association (AISA) secretary Chandan Kumar who was booked in connection with the violence on December 15 last year.

Advocate Adit S Pujari, appearing for Mr. Kumar, had earlier claimed before the court that police were not carrying out a “fair” probe in the case.

Mr. Pujari had also said that the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch should investigate personnel of the Jamia Nagar police station who allegedly entered the varsity’s campus without permission on December 15 and attacked students.

“Police cannot enter a library on a university campus and start hitting people. Let the Crime Branch also investigate the police personnel of Jamia Nagar Police Station. Police are not conducting a fair investigation. They are only seeing one side of the coin, not the other,” Mr. Kumar’s counsel had said.

He had said that, according to media reports, 102 arrests have been made so far in the case and police should be directed to produce footage from at least one CCTV camera that shows the arrested were involved in the violence.

Mr. Pujari also claimed that the seizing of Mr. Kumar’s mobile phone by police violated his fundamental rights.

He claimed that Mr. Kumar was not allowed to consult his lawyer when he was called for questioning by police.

Mr. Kumar’s plea, filed through advocates Mr. Pujari and Kriti Awasthi, sought monitoring of the investigation “as the investigating agency, while shielding its own policemen who wreaked havoc on the premises of Jamia Millia Islamia University, has proceeded to name the applicant [Kumar], who is a peace-loving citizen/student leader”.

Protests in Jamia Nagar against the CAA had turned violent on December 15 last year. Four DTC buses, 100 private vehicles and 10 police bikes were damaged in the violence. Police had also entered the university’s campus and had allegedly attacked students.

The petitioner also sought directions to police to return Mr. Kumar’s mobile phone.

The plea claimed that Mr. Kumar had to unlock his mobile phone due to pressure from the members of the investigating agency.

“The continued possession of the mobile phone with the investigating agency is a direct and immediate violation of the right to privacy of the applicant,” it said.

It further alleged that Mr. Kumar’s lawyer was not allowed to meet him during his interrogation by the police.

The plea also sought directions to police to ensure that a fair investigation be conducted, and appropriate material be made available before any decision to take coercive action is taken.

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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 12:26:03 pm |