Jamia footage out, probe team calls for duty roster of policemen

Mahender Singh Manral
Jamia violence, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia attack, Delhi Police, CCTV, Praveer Ranjan, special investigation team, india news, Indian Express

“As of now, we are collecting information about all police personnel deployed on December 15, and will later ask them to identify personnel seen in the footage,” sources said.

In the first indication that Delhi Police is looking into the role of its own personnel in connection with the December 15 violence at Jamia Millia Islamia, a special investigation team (SIT) is learnt to have asked SHOs of police stations in the South East district for duty rosters of that day.

The move comes against the backdrop of several videos emerging over the past few days showing police assaulting people inside the Jamia library and breaking a CCTV camera and furniture. As reported by The Indian Express, the university estimates police action caused damage to the tune of Rs 2.66 crore.

Police have maintained that some of the video footage appeared edited and that they had entered the campus in hot pursuit of “rioters”. On Monday, Special Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Praveer Ranjan said the SIT probing the December 15 violence will analyse all clips to establish the sequence of events. “Once the sequence is established, we will identify all those involved in the violence and action as per law will be taken,” he said.

Though the inter-state cell of the Crime Branch received the footage days after the case was transferred to them in December, the recent move appears to have been prompted by the footage being leaked.

Read | Camera nails official denial: Police did enter Jamia library, beat students

Sources told The Indian Express that personnel from two police stations in South East district were approached by the Crime Branch on Wednesday and asked to provide details of where they were stationed when police personnel entered the college premises as well as the library.

“As of now, we are collecting information about all police personnel deployed on December 15, and will later ask them to identify personnel seen in the footage,” sources said.

Sources said they had verbally conveyed to senior officers at Delhi Police headquarters that footage from the library could warrant an FIR against the personnel involved, but no decision has been taken in this regard. “Before deciding to lodge an FIR, SIT officers are taking legal opinion and collecting technical evidence,” sources said.

Also read | 25 broken CCTVs in Jamia’s Rs 2.66-crore damage bill to HRD

In a video released Monday, uniformed personnel can be seen entering the room after breaking the door barricaded by desks. A woman security guard of Jamia is allowed to walk out, after which students start running to the door. Women students at the front can be seen pleading with police to let them out. While they are spared, around 50 others behind them are repeatedly hit with lathis. At the end of the video, a policeman can be seen swinging his lathi at the CCTV camera, ostensibly to break it.