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Parliament proceedings | Will Delhi Police pay for damage to Jamia Library, asks Samajwadi Party MP Javed Ali Khan

A video grab of Samajwadi Party MP Javed Ali Khan speaking in the Rajya Sabha. File photo: RSTV

A video grab of Samajwadi Party MP Javed Ali Khan speaking in the Rajya Sabha. File photo: RSTV  

HRD Minister ducked question from SP MP on compensation

Will Delhi Police pay for “vandalising” the library at Jamia Millia Islamia University on December 17, on the lines of U.P. government’s order to make the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors to pay for damages to public amenities, a Samajwadi Party MP asked the HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Thursday in Rajya Sabha.

The Minister evaded the question with a vague reply that the University Grants Commission funds all universities and will foot the bill.

“Whether it is a fact that the Jamia Millia Islamia University has sent an assessment of ₹2.66 crore to government to compensate for the damage done by Delhi Police in it’s library,” SP MP Javed Ali Khan said. Drawing a parallel with U.P. administration’s announcement to make the protestors pay for damage to public goods, Mr. Khan further enquired, “Since the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh have already booked the protestors for damage to public amenities, will the government here make Delhi Police pay for barging into the library and vandalising it?”

The HRD Minister had no definitive reply to the question. He said the University Grants Commission funds all universities and will be also be footing the bill in this case. When he was further questioned, Mr. Pokhriyal said, “Universities are autonomous bodies and they have the right to act independently.”

To this Mr. Khan said everyone is aware that the universities are autonomous bodies but they do not have power to recover the money from Delhi Police.

Asking a supplementary question, Congress MP Rajeev Gowda said whether the government plans to take any action against Delhi Police for attacking students at Jamia. “As HRD Minister, you are the protector of students in universities across the country. Here, in Jamia, we saw that the students were attacked; we saw that the institution's properties were attacked. There is evidence out there which shows policemen damaging the CCTV to cover up the evidence. What action have you taken against these police personnel against whom evidence is in the public domain for having vandalized Jamia property, which affected the lives and studies of the students?” he asked.

The Minister said the matter is sub-judice and the government is not in a position to act against any body till the courts adjudicate on the matter.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:28:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/will-delhi-police-pay-for-damage-to-jamia-library-asks-sp-mp/article31111052.ece

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