Submit report on 'police aggression' in AMU in one month, NHRC told

Police personnel conduct a march at Aligarh Muslim University campus in Aligarh on December 15, 2019 after student protests against Citizenship Amendment Act.

Police personnel conduct a march at Aligarh Muslim University campus in Aligarh on December 15, 2019 after student protests against Citizenship Amendment Act.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The narration of facts in petition certainly demands a probe, says Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has issued directions to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to submit a report on the alleged police aggression in the Aligarh Muslim University on December 15 in one month.

Listening to the criminal writ petition filed by advocate Aman Khan, the two-judge bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Vivek Varma said, “The facts of the instant case indicate alleged violation of human rights and negligence in the prevention of such violation. We have not looked into the video footage, which is said to be available with the petitioner and compact discs, which are placed on record by the respondents along with the counter. However, the photographs annexed with the petition reflect certain serious happenings which are termed by the petitioner as brutal, violation of human rights that also amounts to commission of cognizable crime. The narration of facts certainly demands a probe.” The HC said for the purpose of the inquiry, the Commission should treat the memo of the petition for writ as a complaint submitted to it.

Reacting to the order Mr. Khan said, “We didn’t want NHRC probe per se, but relief is that the HC has kept the matter before itself after inquiry.”

Explaining why he didn’t want an NHRC probe, Mr. Khan told The Hindu that the body had not been found useful in similar cases. “We have the Manipur case regarding fake encounter where the Supreme Court observed that the NHRC was not up to the mark, using the term ‘toothless tiger’.”

He said the NHRC didn’t wield enough powers and that its maximum power was that of a civil court. “But still, considering the NHRC will submit a report to the HC for its perusal, we have hope,” said Mr. Khan.

On the HC mentioning that the Jamia Milia Islamia students and teachers had also approached the NHRC, Mr. Khan said the Court had found it more convenient because the Jamia case was already being looked into by the NHRC. “My reservation is that the AMU is closed sine die, and hence, many students who might be willing would not be able to appear before the NHRC.”

M. Salman Imtiaz, president of the AMU Students’ Union (2018-19) who is also a petitioner in the case, appealed to students, teachers, and non-teaching staff who witnessed the violence or were injured or detained on December 15 to come forward and submit the personal accounts before the NHRC. “We demand the AMU administration to provide us with the CCTV footage of the university campus of December 15. We will provide necessary assistance to the witnesses,” he said.

As per the counter filed on behalf of the IG, Law and Order, U.P., and the SSP, Aligarh Range, the contents of the writ didn’t depict facts. Manish Goyal, Additional Advocate General, submitted that the action was taken to prevent loss to the public and public property at large.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 11:23:09 PM |

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