- Lawyers requested top court to take note of police action on students
- Cops accused of using excessive force during Jamia, AMU protests
- Protests by students have erupted across the country over citizenship law
The "rioting" must stop and there should be peace, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said on Monday to a request to take note of police action on students at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday evening during protests against the citizenship law.
The Supreme Court will hear the case tomorrow.
"Just because they happen to be students, it doesn't mean they can take law and order in their hands, this has to be decided when things cool down. This is not the frame of mind when we can decide anything. Let the rioting stop," said the Chief Justice.
Lawyers Indira Jaising and Colin Gonsalves requested the top court to look into the violence against students and send retired judges to the two universities to investigate what went down.
"Why was property destroyed? Buses are burnt. We will take cognisance and decide in peaceful frame of mind. Whoever started rioting, let them stop first," said Justice Bobde.
Indira Jaising had said: "We are here to request on violence unleashed all over the country. This kind of violence...Supreme Court must take suo motu. It is a serious human rights violation."
Students had been arrested and First Information Reports (FIRs) had been filed against them, said Colin Gonsalves. "We need a probe to fix accountability," he argued.
"We don't want to be held at ransom. We are not to be bullied like this. We will hear and see what to do. It is a law and order problem and for the police to handle. Let me see what we can do. It someone wants to take to streets, don't come to court. We are not against peaceful demonstrations," said the Chief Justice.
As Colin Gonsalves urged the court to send a panel of retired judges to visit the Aligarh University, Justice Bobde responded: "We will do that. First let there be peace. If protests and violence continue we will not hear it."
The police have been accused of using excessive force during student protests that turned violent at the two universities on Sunday evening.
The police barged into the Jamia campus, rounded up students and detained 100. They were accused of beating and abusing students.
Protests by students and others have erupted across the country over the new citizenship law that makes it easier for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens. Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims and is against secular principles of the constitution.