- Video shows policemen in riot gear thrashing students at Jamia library
- Violence broke at Jamia on December 15 after a protest march against CAA
- Police action at Jamia had led to student protests across the country
A two-month old video has emerged that purpotedly shows several policemen thrashing students at a reading hall of Delhi's Jamia Millia University on the day violence broke out at the campus after a protest march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA.
The 49-second clip - released by Jamia Coordination Committee on social media on Saturday - shows students sitting at university's Old Reading Hall (M Phil Section). A man sitting at a desk hides under a table before cops enter the room; another man is seen rushing around.
Several policemen in riot gear suddenly barge into the room, severely baton-charge students as they look for cover. Some students run out as cops continue to thrash them.
The Jamia Coordination Committee, a group of alumni and students, has been leading protests against citizenship law, the university said in a statement this afternoon, clarifying that it has not released the video. "A number of Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and other users on different social media platforms are using Jamia Millia Islamia's name,creating confusion among the people," the statement read.
Violence broke at Jamia Millia University in Delhi on December 15 after a protest march by the university's students against the CAA ended in a pitched battle with the police, vandalism and torching of vehicles. The police, which used batons and tear gas to contain the violence, later barged into the university and detained around 100 students. A student, injured during the clashes, lost sight in his left eye.
In sharply-worded tweets, the Congress and CPI(M) today attacked Delhi Police over the fresh CCTV footage. "See how Delhi Police is badly thrashing the students. A boy is reading a book but a cop continues to beat him. Home Minister (Amit Shah) and Delhi Police had lied that they had not entered the library, thrashed the students," senior party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wrote in Hindi.
"After watching this video, if no action is taken against police action at Jamia... the intention of the government will be exposed," she further wrote.
Congress's Shashi Tharoor also sought action against policemen seen in the video. "CCTV footage has emerged showing police assaulting Jamia students without provocation. Horrifying. Exemplary punishment must be levied on these lawless policemen," he tweeted.
CCTV footage has emerged showing police assaulting Jamia students without provocation. Horrifying. Exemplary punishment must be levied on these lawless policemen. https://t.co/3AXhSuKf7A— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) February 16, 2020
Amid criticism, senior police officer Praveer Ranjan today said the video would be investigated. "We have taken note of the latest video of Jamia Millia Islamia University. We will investigate it," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Police action at Jamia and later at the Aligarh Muslim University the same night had led to student protests across the country where they voiced opposition against the citizenship law. While government has said the CAA, which makes religion test for citizenship for the first time in the country, would help persecuted minorities from three Muslim neighboring countries, critics have called it "anti-Muslim".
Students across the world, including those from Harvard and Oxford, have expressed concern over the use of police force at the anti-CAA protests.
Delhi Police had earlier responded to allegations of force and entering the Jamia campus by insisting they "only acted to control the situation". Jamia students had distanced themselves from the violence. In a statement, the students said, "We have time and again maintained our protests are peaceful and non-violent."