Videos of police action inside Jamia library trigger fresh row | India News
The leak of the CCTV footage early Sunday morning was followed hours later by two other clips coming into public domain, one of which showed youths entering the same reading room — some with what appear to be stones in their hands — and trying the block the entrance of the hall. This clip appears to be of events preceding police’s entry into the reading room.
Students from Jamia’s anti-CAA protest group, Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), said the footage confirmed their allegations of police brutality on campus. The university administration said the clips were not leaked from their end.
04:17Shocking footage emerges of cops thrashing Jamia students in Dec 2019
One of the videos that came into circulation later showed youths hurrying into the reading room while another showed youths gathered at the balcony of the first-floor library and then quickly dispersing. These clips were seen by some in social media as “proof” that “rioters” were trying to hide in Jamia buildings.
Cops have taken copies of all three videos and have launched an enquiry into the incident.
One of the videos, a 44-second clip, shows youths who were seen on the corridor, entering the library and blocking the entrance door with a bench.
Special Commissioner (Crime) Praveer Ranjan said, “We have taken cognisance of the latest video of December 15 of Jamia Millia Islamia library which has surfaced now. We will investigate it.”
Cops have particularly taken cognisance of two of the three videos which show a group of men barging into the Zakir Hussain library. One of the youths, with long hair is seen carrying what appears to be a stone. He is seen assuring the others present in the library. Later, one of the youths who came from outside is seen sitting down with a book when police arrive. He has a scarf on his face and is seen in another video getting hit by the police.
That 48-second clip shows police going on a rampage in the library, hitting those sitting there with sticks. Several of the cops have their faces covered.
Mohammad Raabe, a BA Persian student said he was studying in the reading hall when “the police entered the building and began using tear gas to disperse students. They also broke down the library glass and furniture. Despite our pleas, they continued to beat us and abused us using communal slur. Several of us had never left the library and were studying. Even if police came looking for certain people, why were they beating so many of us.”
Raghib Naushad, a member of the Jamia’s JCC, said, “We never denied that many students tried to block the doors of the library with the tables and chairs when they heard about what was happening outside. There were a few students who were protesting and ran into the campus. Seeing that it was a Sunday and the department buildings were closed, they entered the library which was open. The blatant disregard shown by the police and the violence they meted out on even those students who were not involved in any protest is unjustified.”
On allegations of possible rioters entering the library building, Naushad asked, “Why did the police beat up all the students, and even the ones who were studying? Why did they destroy library property? And why would a stone-pelter carry a stone inside the library? The truth is that the police were going around beating random students in the campus with their faces covered.”
Police officers say that the sequence of events after which police had entered the university has already been established and verified from the Jamia authorities, and a few of the miscreants have been identified. Efforts are being made to identify the rest.
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