Hold the Delhi police accountable | Editorial HT – editorials
On Sunday, exactly two months after the violence at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi, a group that coordinates the turmoil in the university against the Citizenship (Amendment) Law released a disturbing video. It showed that between eight and nine members of the police and paramilitary uniforms entered Jamia’s library and beat unarmed students with lathis and sticks, apparently on the afternoon of December 15. Subsequently, two other videos appeared online. One showed a man carrying a stone and hiding in the library, while the other showed a group of people, some carrying stones, in a campus corridor. A fourth video, which appeared on Monday, provided more elaborate images of security personnel who beat students indiscriminately while praying for mercy and destroying property. The sequence of events is not clear, nor is it clear who leaked the images.
But the first and fourth videos have established three things. One, despite the claim by the Delhi police that he had not entered the library or destroyed it, the video seems conclusively to prove that the police (and possibly a paramilitary force) entered the library and used force . Two, while the police and government supporters have used the second and third video to suggest that troublemakers entered the library, still do not justify the behavior of security personnel. Even if those who participated in acts of violence were to seek refuge in the library, the police should have followed due process and, under no circumstances, should they have been involved in the type of violence inflicted on students. And three, the video credits the testimony of the students, who alleged police brutality, about the events on campus.
More than 100 people were injured in the violence in Jamia. Although the university filed a complaint against the Delhi Police, no First Information Report (FIR) has been registered. The university has now decided to go to court to request the registration of an FIR. The way in which the Delhi Police acted on December 15 in Jamia, their subsequent refusal to register an FIR and their reluctance to act at Jawaharlal Nehru University on January 5, when a crowd attacked students and faculty members, It points to a disturbing pattern. The Delhi police, instead of being impartial and following the law, has been complicit in the violence, whether by commission or omission. It also seems to be acting as a complement to political teachers. For the sake of justice, accountability and its own credibility, the police must initiate strict actions against those who committed excesses, put an end to the culture of impunity and reform their mode of operation.