The Delhi Police on Wednesday opposed the setting up of a Special Investigation Team to look into the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University after an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest in December, PTI reported. The police voiced its opposition before the Delhi High Court, which was hearing several pleas related to the violence.
Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, appearing for the Delhi Police, told the court that setting up an SIT would amount to “supplanting the law”. The police also objected to setting up a Commission of Inquiry or a fact-finding committee.
On Tuesday, a batch of petitions had been filed in the Delhi High Court, asking for an independent probe into the excessive use of force on students of Jamia Millia Islamia University in December. Appearing for one of the petitioners, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves had said that the police’s investigation in the case was “not independent”.
The petitioners also demanded that the students be given medical treatment, compensation and interim protection from arrest. They also asked for the registration of first information reports against the police officers who used force on students.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the Delhi Police told the court that the petitions were not maintainable. He added that the plea’s demands could not be approved since the police had filed chargesheets in connection with the violence and the petitioners should have asked a subordinate court for compensation. He added that the petitioners’ case was based on an “assumption of wrongdoing” by the police and it was “grossly misconceived”.
The Delhi High Court, then, listed the matter for hearing on August 14.
On December 15, violence had broken out near the Jamia Millia Islamia University after an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest march by students ended in a pitched battle with the police. Buses were set on fire, and several students and police officers were injured. The police were accused of using excessive force to quell the demonstrations, and storming the campus. The police claimed its action was justified as the protestors had allegedly injured its personnel and set buses on fire. CCTV from the university showed Delhi Police personnel assaulting students in a reading hall.