Jamia violence: Another video of alleged police brutality emerges online

New Delhi: Yet another video of alleged police brutality in Jamia Millia Islamia emerged on Monday even as police maintained that it is trying to establish the exact sequence of the events after analysing all the clips that have surfaced on social media.

In the fresh video, the police can be seen raining batons on students who are trying to escape. Women students can be seen moving out while pleading with the police and one of the policemen can be seen breaking a camera.

Police, however, said it will not be appropriate to declare anyone innocent without a proper investigation.

Three videos had emerged online earlier, two months after the December 15 violence at the campus. While one video purportedly showed paramilitary and police personnel thrashing students in the library, two other videos, which appeared hours later, showed some youths with covered faces entering the library

Special Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Praveer Ranjan said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the December 15 violence will analyse all the video clips to establish the exact sequence of the events leading to that day’s incident.

“Once the sequence of events is established, we will identify all those involved in the violence and action as per law will be taken. By just seeing the videos being released on social media, it will not be appropriate to declare at this point of time that those present inside the Jamia campus or its library were innocent,” the special commissioner said.

The Jamia Coordination Committee issued a statement saying that it was not in possession of the latest video or any other such footage as the administration denied it access citing that they will be sharing relevant footage with the people concerned when approached through official channels.

“The students who are being seen in these videos have clearly gone through a lot in the past two months. The humiliation, pain and horror is still fresh in their minds. Many students in the videos are seen shaking inconsolably and panicking in a terrorised state and have taking psychiatric help,” it added.

The father of a student, who was present in the library on that day, said that the police were batoncharging students who were trying to escape.

“My son was among the sea of students who were trying to escape… Outside the library, the police and the CRPF batoncharged students and my son suffered fractures in his legs. He is still recovering,” he told PTI.

Mohammad Minhajuddin, who had lost vision in one of his eyes, due to the alleged police action, said many of the students were wearing handkerchiefs due to the effect of tear gas.

“A presumption is being made that they were protesters who wanted to hide their faces. It is not the case. Even policemen were wearing handkerchiefs because of the same reason,” he said.

He was in the 48-second video released by the JCC in the early hours on Sunday.

“Students had bolted the doors of the reading room on the first floor after they heard cries from downstairs and tear gas shells being lobbed. Many students had come upstairs to shield themselves from the police,” he said.

The policemen kept banging on the doors and after some time, they managed to break them open and barged inside.

“Before they barged in, the students were scared and they had shut their books and were anxiously looking towards the door. After they came inside, students receded to corners to escape their blows,” the law student recalled.

He stressed that the students present inside the library did not give shelter to anyone carrying stones and the video in which a long haired man is seen carrying something resembling a stone, might be a folded ‘handkerchief’.

Mohammad Mustafa, a master’s student, who was also seen in the video released on Sunday by JCC, still has nightmares of that day.

“We never thought that police would attack us. I am preparing for UPSC and was in the library since morning with my laptop. In the evening, we could hear a commotion but never thought we would be attacked since we had nothing to do with the protests.”

He said the police barged inside the old reading hall and hit him on the head. Even outside the library, the police and CRPF personnel hit him and he was chased till Gate no 7 and religious slurs were used against him by security personnel.

“I was badly injured but was taken to New Friends Colony police station instead of Holy Family Hospital, which is a few metres away from the varsity. I was not given first aid or even water at the police station,” he recalled.

Ranjan added that there is footage in which rioters are seen throwing stones from inside the campus and the police entering in a hot-pursuit. The videos of the library show many masked men entering it.

“The reason for the police to enter the campus was that rioters were present and throwing stones from inside,” he added. He said that the investigation would also look into the circumstances of police action inside the campus.

On the allegation that students were seen carrying stones, the JCC said, “If you see the video properly, you can see that the person was carrying a wallet in his hand, not a stone. Students generally take out their wallets from back pocket so that they can sit comfortably and study in the library.”