India

Jamia Protests: Allegations of Sexual Assault Against Cops

By Advocate Choudhary Ali Zia Kabir

We arrived at the police station at about 8.30 pm but were immediately pushed outside the police station and only after repeated requests two persons Harsh Mander, Social Activist and Choudhary Ali Zia Kabir, Advocate were allowed in striped of their mobile phones and such belongings. There was a tacit understanding that they would record no statement or take signatures on any document, including any Vakalatnama.

There were about 28 students countable, presented to us. One student reported that he is suffering from a heart problem and is not being provided medicine. He was simply studying in the library wherefrom he was picked up and assaulted along his way to the police station. He identified himself as Chandan Singh s/o Lakshmikant Singh. He requested that the CCTV cameras in a library and the campus would reveal CRPF and Delhi Police being violent, CRPF more so. All the students agreed with him. Later Chandan had fits, fell off from the chair while he was offered food and started gasping for breath. On request of the intervenors, he was taken to the hospital by the police.

Students reported that the campus was “stormed” by the CRPF, it was not the case that they were protesting on the roads outside the campus. They repeatedly impressed upon us that the entire CCTV footage of the whole campus including library be seized as evidence of their innocence. Some of them stated that female students were beaten up and even sexually harassed by the male police officers. To save themselves they tried locking themselves into female washrooms but in vain. Doors were broken and the forces entered thereto.

Another tactic employed by the forces was to switch off the lights before they started assaulting students and sexually abusing girl students. Wherever lights were switched off sexual abuse was shocking. Lights were switched off to prevent any recording in the CCTV cameras, but we are confident that some cameras would still have recorded sexual abuse. As to violence, the footage might run into several hours recording continuous assault.

(Author can be contacted at [email protected])

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