The actions of the Uttar Pradesh Police on 15 and 16 December at Aligarh Muslim University were not only brutal but also vindictive motivated by a desire to ‘show students their place’, a fact-finding report by NGO Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) said.
The report was written by a three-member fact-finding team, comprising Aman Khan and Fazal from HRLN, and Fawaz Shaheen of the Quill Foundation.
As many as 21 people were arrested on Monday in connection with the clashes between AMU students and police over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and orders were issued to completely vacate all hostels of the university, officials said on Monday.
A petition had been filed in the Supreme Court alleging police excesses, but the apex court asked the petitioner to approach the high court.
The HRLN's report on the police actions at AMU said, "The entire incident is a shocking display of police brutality and impunity in the face of peaceful democratic protests by AMU students... All witnesses we spoke to recalled (that) the police was hurling insults and abuses of a rabidly communal nature at the students and the university at large. These communal abuses were being shouted even before they lathi-charged the protest, and only intensified as they moved further into the university, targeting individual students with their lathis, tear gas shells, rubber bullets and pellets."
The report said that a total of 60 students were injured during the protests. Of these, three were said to be in an intensive care unit and were critical. According to the report, these three students included a student whose right hand had to be amputated because an unidentified explosive similar to a tear-gas grenade exploded in his hand, a student who was suffering from repeated seizures due to blows on the head from lathis, and a student who sustained a rubber bullet wound in the head.
The report also alleged that there was disproportionate use of force at room number 46 of the Morrison Court Hostel, although many students there were not among the protesters. According to the report, police personnel fired tear gas into the room from point-blank range, due to which the room caught fire.
"Three students who were in the room but not even part of the protest came out in semi-conscious stage," the HRLN investigators added.
Around 70 people, including students, 20 police personnel and AMU security guards, were injured in the clashes on Monday. Among those injured in the violence were Aligarh DIG Parminder Singh and SP (City) Abhishek.
Professor Shafey Kidwai of the AMU, in an official statement regarding the sequence of events leading to Sunday's clashes, had said, "Peaceful democratic protests against the CAA were being held in the campus for the past few days. However, on Sunday evening, an atmosphere of unrest started enveloping the campus following the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi."
"As tempers ran high, a group of lumpen elements, yet to be identified, started instigating the protesters and this resulted in a very difficult situation which threatened to go out of control and could have led to a loss of precious lives of innocent students," Kidwai said.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 18, 2019 19:31:56 IST