Delhi court seeks status report from police on probe into Jamia violence

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A court in New Delhi on Monday directed the Delhi Police to file a status report on whether it was investigating the officers who had allegedly barged into Jamia Millia Islamia and lathi-charged students during an anti-CAA protest on December 15 last year.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur issued notice to the investigation officer and directed that the report be filed by February 25.

The case is being investigated by the Delhi Police's Crime Branch.

The court has also sought an overall status report from the Delhi Police on the ongoing investigation in a case related to the violence near Jamia Millia Islamia during the protest.

On December 15 last year, protests in the area against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) turned violent. Four DTC buses, 100 private vehicles and 10 police bikes were damaged. Police had even entered the university campus and allegedly attacked students.

 

It was hearing a plea filed by All India Students' Association (AISA) secretary Chandan Kumar.

The petitioner has sought a court-monitored probe alleging that the investigating agency was shielding police personnel who had "wreaked havoc" on the varsity's premises.

The left-leaning student outfit's leader has been named as an accused in the case.

During the hearing, the police's counsel said Kumar's mobile phone has been sent to the forensic lab to ascertain his role in the violence and it will be returned once the report comes in.

The lawyer claimed that there were messages in Kumar's phone asking people to gather at the spot of the incident.

The court was informed that deputy commissioner of police (Crime Branch) was investigating the matter.

Advocate Adit S Pujari, representing Kumar, told the court that the AISA member was peacefully protesting on December 15 against the amended citizenship law and it is not an offence under the law.

"Kumar was telling people that he does not want anyone to make any communal statements. He was named as an accused in the case but till today the police does not know whether he was involved in the violence or not.

"Students were hit on their heads by the police. Why are the police not investigating their own officials? Kumar is a student and has multiple things on his mobile phone. Who is responsible to maintain confidentiality of the data in his phone," the lawyer said.

Kumar's plea, filed through advocates Pujari and Kriti Awasthi, sought monitoring of the probe "as the investigating agency, while shielding its own policemen who wreaked havoc in the premises of Jamia Millia Islamia University, has proceeded to name the applicant (Kumar), who is a peace-loving citizen/student leader".

It also sought directions to the police to return Kumar's mobile phone, which was seized by the agency during his questioning.

The plea claimed that Kumar had to unlock his mobile phone due to pressure from members of the investigating agency.

It also sought directions to the police to ensure that a fair investigation be conducted, and appropriate material be made available before any decision to take coercive action is undertaken.



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