LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court, on Tuesday, ordered a probe into the violence at the Aligarh Muslim University during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) last month. As per the High Court order, the probe will be conducted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the report will be submitted to it within five weeks. The court has posted February 17 as the next date for hearing.
As the protests against the CAA at the AMU campus on December 15 had taken a violent turn, the varsity administration had advanced the winter vacations and closed the campus till January 5. All the hostels were also vacated in view of the unrest.
While hearing a petition filed by a former AMU student Mohammad Aman Khan, the High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur asked the Commission to conduct a thorough probe into the violence on campus and submit its report to the court within five weeks.
AMU students had hit the streets in huge numbers to protest against the CAA and the demonstrations had taken a violent turn when the students started indulging in heavy stone pelting at the police force deployed to man the protesting mob. In retaliation, the police force used tear gas shells, cane charging and even firing on the protestors. A large number of students had sustained severe injuries.
Around 1,000 students were booked for violence. The protests, subsequently, had taken the entire city by storm following which internet services were suspended for over a week in Aligarh. A large police contingent conducted a flag march in the city of locks.
Sunday's violence at JNU again precipitated the situation leading AMU students to gather on campus in solidarity with their JNU counterparts the same evening. This led the university to seek the district administration’s help and a huge police force was deployed around AMU as a precautionary measure. Even then, AMU students, who had returned to the campus, held a candlelight demonstration against the JNU violence on Sunday evening.
However, AMU sources claimed the administration was contemplating extending the vacations in view of the ongoing countrywide protests against the JNU violence. Meanwhile, in another case related to anti-CAA protests across the state in mid-December, the High Court issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government seeking its response to the allegations of police brutalities on protesters.
Taking suo motu cognizance of the issue through media reports and an email sent by a Mumbai-based lawyer Ajay Kumar, the bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Vivek Verma posted the issue for next hearing on January 16. The lawyer had referred to a number of articles over alleged police brutalities on the anti-CAA protestors published in foreign media.