At Jamia students' legal desk, 170 testimonies filed alleging police action

Students of the law course started the legal desk after the December 15 violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Published: 15th January 2020 10:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th January 2020 10:20 AM   |  A+A-

Demonstration against Citizenship Amendment Act outside Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi on Sunday Jan. 12 2020. (Photo | Arun Kumar P/EPS)

Demonstration against Citizenship Amendment Act outside Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi on Sunday Jan. 12 2020. (Photo | Arun Kumar P/EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: At least 170 students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) have lodged complaints with the legal desk set up at the university following the violence of December 15 on-campus claiming Delhi Police is refusing to listen to their grievances.

Students of the law course started the legal desk after the December 15 violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Sharjeel Ahmed, who heads the desk, told PTI, "We have so far received 170 complaints from the students who faced violence, harassment and abuse on the day of the incident.

As Delhi Police refused our complaints directly, we set up this desk to compile all the complaints and take them to the NHRC and later to the court with the help of senior advocates.

" She also said that if the NHRC after its inquiry does not provide justice, they will demand a separate investigation based on these testimonies.

Sharjeel claimed that the students who "faced police atrocity and whose complaints weren't accepted at police stations have lost faith in Delhi Police" and want a "neutral platform that would listen to them and help them get justice".

Among those who gave their testimonies to the legal desk is Mohd Anas, a PG student of electrical engineering, who claims he was chased and beaten up by police.

"A peaceful protest was going on December 15, when police teams reached and started tear gas shelling. I ran away and hid inside a generator room near Gate no 3. The policemen broke the gate and barged inside," he alleged, adding the students were beaten with batons.

"The policemen also told us to go to Pakistan," Anas also claimed.

Huda, an MA journalism student, who also lodged a complaint alleged, "I was in the campus and making placards on CAA. We were near the main gate when the violence began. I ran away and hid in the washroom and for an hour, I heard firing of shots. When we came out, the police started harassing, made us sit on the floor and began questioning. The police harassed many female students."

According to Sharjeel, students are given a form to fill in their basic details and register complaints for assault/grievous hurt/violence, harassment/outrage of modesty and criminal intimidation under sections 324, 509, 354 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.

The students have been attaching their written testimonies with the complaint forms, she added.

Another girl student who claimed she faced harassment on the campus alleged, "The policemen were even trying to manhandle girls and students were dealt with as if they are criminals or terrorists. The students were abused with cuss words. I have registered my complaint under Section 354 of the IPC."

Senior advocates Indira Jaising, Collin Gonsalves, Salman Khurshid and Sanjay Hegde have been representing the Jamia students in court.

Advocate Nabila Hasan from Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) said, "We met the students admitted at the hospital and recorded their testimonies. We compiled the documents and I filed a petition with two other women who were victims of the violence. We have been seeing the testimonies that they have been filing with the legal desk. We will be further helping them to fight in the courts and get justice."

The testimonies collected at the legal desk have also come to the notice of the NHRC which have begun recording statements of Jamia students on the December 15 violence.

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