LUCKNOW: In a jolt to Uttar Pradesh Police, Allahabad High Court on Monday issued directives to UP Director General of Police (DGP) to identify and take action against the police personnel who were involved in damaging motorcycles and unnecessarily caning students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during their protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December, last year.
The court also directed the state government to adequately compensate six students who had sustained grievous injuries in the police action.
The two-judge High Court bench, comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal, issued the directives on the basis of the recommendations made by a six-member team of National Human Rights Commission which probed the violence on AMU campus on December 15, 2019. The HC had given five weeks’ time to the NHRC team to complete the probe in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Mohammad Aman Khan alleging police brutality.
The petitioner had said that the AMU students were holding a peaceful protest against CAA since December 13, 2019. But the security forces indulged in cane charging, firing of tear gas shells and rubber pellets at the protesting students for no valid reason on December 15, 2019. While censoring the police, the NHRC has also recommended their sensitizing to inculcate professionalism in them to handle such situations. It also urged the court to direct UP DGP to get all the probes into such incidents of violence in a time-bound manner by the Special Investigating Team set up by his order on January 6, 2020.
The High Court also directed the UP government, UP DGP, DG (CRPF), AMU V-C and Registrar to adhere to the recommendations of the NHRC probe panel and produce a compliance report on March 25, 2020.
The flames over the alleged police crackdown on students campaigning against the contentious citizenship law outside the Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi spread to the AMU campus, with students rising in protest in a show of solidarity.
Directive followed NRHC recommendations
The court’s observation followed the recommendations of an NHRC panel, which also called for sensitisation of UP Police personnel and need for professionalism to handle such situations.