New Delhi: Two months after the alleged police brutality at Jamia Millia Islamia, a new video has emerged purportedly showing paramilitary and police personnel beating up students in the library on Dec-ember 15, drawing sharp reactions from several political leaders, including AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The 48-second video, which appears to be CCTV footage, purportedly sho-ws some seven to eight paramilitary and police personnel entering the Old Reading Hall and beating up students with batons. The paramilitary and police are also seen covering their faces with handkerchiefs.
Jamia Millia Islamia has clarified that it had not released the new video, which is circulating on the social media showing some men in paramilitary and police uniforms beating up students at the university’s library.
“It has come to our notice that some video with regard to police brutality in the Dr Zakir Husain Library of Jamia Millia Islamia is in circulation. This is to clarify that the video has not been released by the university,” its public relations officer Ahmad Azeem said.
The public relations officer said the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) is spearheading the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register and National Register of Citizens on Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar Road outside Jamia’s Gate No. 7.
Later in the day, two new CCTV videos emerged which shows the events before the police action inside the Jamia library. In one video, some students standing in the balcony could be seen holding stones in their hands during the violence. The CCTV time stamp shows this happened almost four minutes before the police attacked the students in the library.
The video was released by the JCC, a group comprising Jamia students and alumni. The group was formed after the alleged police brutality on December 15.
Special commissioner of police (intelligence) Praveer Ranjan said the video had come to their knowledge and it would investigate it as part of the ongoing probe. The Jamia Coordination Committee said it received the video from an “anonymous” source. It also said the university had shared video footage of the police action in the library with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which is also probing the episode.
Sharing the video on Twitter, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said if no action was taken even after the video, then the government’s intentions will be exposed.
She also accused Union home minister Amit Shah and the Delhi police of “lying” that Jamia students were not beaten up inside the library.
“Look at how Delhi Police is blindly assaulting students in the library. A boy is flashing his book but the policeman is continuing to attack him with batons,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.
“Home minister and Delhi Police lied when they said students were not beaten up in the library,” Ms Vadra said in another tweet. “If no action is taken even after watching this Jamia video, the government’s intentions would stand exposed before the whole country,” she added.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the police’s action was “unconscionable” and “unacceptable”. Mr Yechury tweeted: “Every defence of the police action on students in universities, offered by Amit Shah, is untrue, misleading and politically motivated. The Delhi police comes directly under Modi-Shah and this is how it treats young students studying in a library. Shame!”
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) also criticised the Delhi police for its use of force in the university and accused them of allowing “terrorists” to barge inside JNU on January 5.
BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya, however, claimed the video of the purported police brutality at Jamia in December also showed that students in the library were actually “stone pelters”. In a tweet, Mr Malviya tagged the video and claimed that students in the library were wearing masks and reading shut books. They were “looking anxiously towards the entrance rather than being relaxed and immersed in studies, which is what a library is meant for”, he said.
“Anatomy of Jamia rioters who tried hiding in the library after a stone-pelting session?” Mr Malviya asked. “Good of Jamia rioters to self identify themselves. Agencies must use the video as evidence.”