New Delhi: Delhi Minorities Commission has been active from day one of the protests by Jamia Millia Islamia students and other youth in the Okhla area against NRC/CAA. Immediately after getting information about the police violence against the peaceful protestors, DMC Chairman Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan issued an order via twitter at 8:22 pm on 15 December, tagged to Delhi Police and Delhi Police Commissioner, to stop violence against the protestors and vacate Jamia Millia Islamia campus. This was after information reached DMC that police has entered the Jamia campus, is attacking students and taking them away.
Same night, DMC Chairman received information that many arrested students and youth have been taken to New Friends Colony and Kalkaji police station after which he issued an Emergency Order to the SHOs of the two police stations “to release the injured students of the Jamia Millia held at the police station or take them without any delay for treatment at a reputed hospital… SHO will be personally responsible for any complications to the injuries of the held students”. The order also directed the two SHOs to file a compliance report at the Commission at 3 pm on 16 December. Chairman DMC himself went to New Friends Colony police station at 11 pm where he found a group of people waiting while the gate of the police station was closed. Dr. Khan sent his visiting card to the SHO NFC. His PA repeatedly phoned the SHO who kept saying that he will meet the Chairman in five minutes.
But the Chairman was kept waiting at the gate for an hour, after which he went to the Kalkaji police station were after the same reluctance he was taken to the room where around 30 arrested students and youth were kept. They were all extremely worried. Some had head injuries, some had broken hands and legs and other injuries. Until then they were given only first aid. Dr. Khan comforted them and assured them that the DMC is standing with them. Thereafter he spoke to the SHO who refused to receive the DMC order saying that the matter concerns NFC police station and they alone will accept the order. Chairman DMC sternly ordered the SHO to provide medical treatment to the arrested students and youth and warned him that he will be personally responsible for any complication to the injuries of the arrested youth. Thereafter Dr. Khan published the DMC order via social media and returned home at 2 am. An hour later, in compliance with the DMC order, the students were released.
The next day, SHO NFC sent to DMC a WhatsApp message communicating compliance with the DMC order and that the youth were provided medical treatment and released. The SHO asked more time to file a compliance report.
On 17 December, DMC issued formal notices to the SHOs of NFC and Kalkaji police station asking them to reply to the following questions: (1) Why police started the attack on the students and the protestors who had the legal and constitutional right to protest peacefully? (2) Why and with what authority police entered the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university where prior permission of university authorities is necessary for such entry? (3) Why the police kept the injured students and other protesters for a long time before they were given/allowed medical treatment? (4) Why the SHO NFC PS insulted the Chairman of a statutory body by keeping him standing outside the PS gates for over an hour without letting him in, meeting him and accepting an official order. (5) Why SHO NFC PS and SHO Kalkaji PS have failed to file their compliance reports at DMC by 3 pm on 16-12-19? DMC has asked them to file a report by 23 December 2019.
On 17 December, after receiving information about demonstrations in the Jafrabad area and that the Okhla violence may be repeated there, DMC issued strong warnings both verbally and through WhatsApp to the SHO Jafrabad that no violence must be allowed, otherwise he will be personally held responsible. As a result, no major violent incidents took place in the Seelampur area.
DMC wrote to the Lt. Governor Delhi on 19 December requesting him to institute a magisterial inquiry about the Okhla violent incidents and to punish the police and paramilitary personnel found responsible. DMC has also started collecting documentary evidence about the Okhla violence and will present the same to the magisterial inquiry when and if it is held. Victims can send their details to DMC by filling this form: https://forms.gle/gNKMzAbfwZeAEp1o9
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