The police action to quell yesterday's violence in Delhi has triggered controversy, with questions raised over the possible use of firearms. Three persons have been admitted in hospitals -- two at the Safdarjung hospital and one at the Holy Family hospital -- with alleged bullet injuries. At the first hospital, doctors said the patients had sustained bullet injuries. At another, the patient made the claim. The Delhi Police, however, have denied using any firearms.
Joint Commissioner of Police Devesh Srivastava said, "We have not shot anyone and we do not have rubber bullets". The police also said it was possible that the injured people were hit by splinters from tear gas shells, which have proved fatal in the past.
At the Safdarjung hospital, the medical superintendent told NDTV that the two patients admitted had sustained bullet injuries. NDTV visited the Safdarjung Hospital, where one of the patients is a Jamia student. The doctor treating him said, "he has a bullet injury on his chest. He has been treated and is doing fine. He is out of critical condition". He refused to elaborate further, saying it is a medico legal case. The patient is an undergraduate, his parents said.
At the Holy Family Hospital, the medical report of the patient said, "Sustained gunshot injury to left leg". The patient, Mohammad Tamin, told NDTV that the policemen had "clearly pointed and fired at me... there was absolutely no smoke, no tear gas as long as I was there".
He said he was conscious even after being shot and remembered everything. He said after being hit, he could not walk and had to be carried to the hospital by the students.
The protest against the new Citizenship law - organised by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia -- had culminated in a pitched battle between the crowd and the police. As angry protesters targeted them with stones and indulged in arson, the police had used batons and tear gas to push back the mob. Later, unconfirmed videos of people with alleged bullet injuries at hospitals had been doing the rounds on social media.
The Delhi Police, which have also been accused of using excessive force against the Jamia students while rounding up and detaining them later in the evening, have repeatedly denied using firearms.
"There was no firing, no casualties in Jamia violence," MS Randhawa, the Public Relations Officer of Delhi Police, told reporters at a press conference this afternoon. "There was no firing from our side. Our referral hospital is AIIMS, we did not get these people admitted. We're trying to find out how they reached Safdarjung (hospital) and also the nature of their injuries. We are probing further. There are some things that cannot be shared right now," he said.