New Delhi, Aug 4 : Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves on Tuesday informed the Delhi High Court that the alleged police brutality which were unleashed on the students of the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in December last year “was to tell the students to drop the idea of going to the Parliament”.
“The beating was really serious and severe and it seemed like the police went against their enemies. Students are not certainly enemies I suppose.This was to tell the students that they should forget the idea of marching to the Parliament,” said Gonsalves appearing before a division bench of the High Court presided by the Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.
He further questioned, “Why did the police aim at the head of the 18,19 year old students. What was the purpose?”
The submissions came in while the high court was hearing a batch of petitions relating to the violence that broke out in and around the Jamia MIlia Islamia in December last year.
During the course of hearing, senior counsel Salman Khurshid while appearing for another petitioner, supporting Gonsalves’s argument that the police action was intended to stop the students from carrying out a march to the Parliament, said that while the Police can regulate such a march, but here, they decided to not to allow that march to parliament to take place at all.
Khurshid further said that gatherings of students were intended to be peaceful. “Such march is an ethos of our democracy even if it’s a dissent towards the government,” he stated.
Meanwhile, senior advocate Indira Jaising appearing from the side of the petitioners argued that that there’s a need for an independent inquiry into the misconduct of the police in relation to the students of Jamia.
She further argued that there was use of excessive force by the police which has resulted in acts of unconscionable conduct. “Law has to take its own course against the police as well. Just because you wear uniform that does not at all mean that you have the right to thrash the students this way.”
“Police must be ready to face the trial,” she submitted while adding that the Police force does not enjoy any impunity or immunity from acts of misconduct.
The hearing which continued for over six hours has now been adjourned for tomorrow as some of the petitioners as well as the state (respondents) are yet to address their arguments.
The batch of petitions which include the one file by one Nabila Hasan sought action against the alleged ruthless, and excessive use of force and aggression unleashed by the police and paramilitary forces on students within the university.
The pleas have also sought registration of FIRs against the erring police officers.
Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had turned violent on December 15 near Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. Several buses were set on fire during the violence in which police and protesters sustained injuries.