The Delhi High Court on Monday sent notices to the Centre and the police after hearing a plea seeking compensation for the injuries sustained due to the alleged brutal action on December 15 at Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Violence had erupted in the area around Jamia Millia Islamia during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest march by the university’s students. The Delhi Police was accused of using excessive force to quell the demonstrations and of storming the campus. The police claimed its action was justified as the protestors had allegedly injured its personnel and set buses on fire.
The petition, heard by the High Court on Monday, was moved by the university’s student Shayaan Mujeeb. The plea sought compensation for Rs 2 crore as both his legs were fractured after police personnel allegedly entered inside the university’s library and assaulted students. The student said he had spent Rs 2.5 lakh so far on treatments.
The court of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said: “Why are you not filing a suit? Everyone is filing a writ petition...It is a fashion in Delhi to file a writ petition.” The court also noted that freestyle arguments during proceedings of a writ petition could be dangerous. After issuing the notices, the court posted the matter for further hearing on May 27.
The plea highlighted the CCTV footage purportedly showing police personnel assaulting students in a reading hall in the university on the evening of December 15, reported Live Law. A group associated with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia had tweeted the video on Saturday. A law student had lost his eye in the attack. Delhi Police has said it will look into the video.
The police violence at Jamia was followed by similar action a few hours later by the Uttar Pradesh Police at Aligarh Muslim University. These police actions sparked a nationwide protest against the government’s citizenship initiatives. A few days later, a sit-in against the law and police violence started at Shaheen Bagh, a locality close to the university, and inspired similar neighbourhood demonstrations across India that are still going on.