New Delhi: The Delhi Police have told the Delhi High Court in an affidavit that the violence that erupted in and around Jamia Millia Islamia last year was a “well-planned and orchestrated attempt by some persons with local support (who were not students) to intentionally perpetrate violence in the area” and the said incident “was not sporadic but well-planned”.
“From the electronic evidence and also from the statements recorded, it is clear that in the garb of student agitation, what happened in fact appears to be a well-planned and orchestrated attempt by some persons with local support (who were not students) to intentionally perpetrate violence in the area,” the affidavit read.
The affidavit was filed in connection with a plea seeking quashing of FIRs and directions against alleged police brutality in Jamia Millia Islamia during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in December last year.
Local leaders instigated protesters
“The investigations have revealed that the local leaders and politicians were instigating the protesters and were raising extremely provocative and inciting slogans (who were arrested subsequently),” the police said.
In the affidavit, the police stated that it is clear that the violence “was not sporadic” but “a well-planned incident”, as the rioters were well armed with stones, lathis, petrol bombs, tube-lights etc., which “clearly manifest that the intention of the mob was to disrupt the law and order situation in the area.”
“This fact is further corroborated with the large number of police personnel, who were injured during the said incident,” it said.
The police also said that the petitioner’s claim of “police brutality” was an “utter falsehood” and nothing but “hearsay”.
The affidavit also stated that exercising the fundamental right of dissent is and should be respected. “However, no person can be allowed to commit breach of law, indulge in violence, arson and riotous activity causing danger to life, limb and property of innocent citizens under the garb of exercise of fundamental right of free speech and assembly,” it said.
“It is respectfully submitted that in garb of organising a protest, it is completely impermissible for the citizens create law and order situation and/or to lay a siege and to paralyse the day to day activity of fellow citizens who are completely unconnected with the cause for which protests are organised by a section of society,” the police said.
Rebutting the batch of petitions, the police stated that the petitioners have created a patently false and fabricated picture of police brutality. “It appears from the averments made in the respective writ petitions that a concerted and well-orchestrated effort has been made by the petitioners to mislead the court,” it added.
The police categorically mentioned that the incidents of December 13 and 15, 2019, were violent and the crowd involved in the said incidents was riotous.
“Many common men, innocent citizens and police officials suffered injuries due to the violent acts of the mob which indulged in violence and arson. In addition to the vandalism and arson by the crowd, there was wide spread loss of both private and government properties. The said destruction is irrefutable, in view of the evidence collected until now,” it said.
The police also told the court that all the injured students were provided medical aid by the force and the administration.
Responding to allegations that the police had entered the campus without permission, the affidavit said, “It was only due to unavoidable circumstances, as contemporaneously captured in electronic evidence gathered by the respondent, that it became imperative for it to enter the university, which was being used as a shield by the rioters to pelt stones and other lethal objects on the police force.”
“Once the incident of riot was contained by the police on 15.12.2019, it has not entered Jamia Millia Islamia thereafter. Furthermore, no coercive action has been taken against any of the innocent students studying in Jamia Millia Islamia,” the police added.
The police also said that they warned the mob to remain peaceful. However, the mob, which had turned violent and was incessantly raising inciting and provocative slogans, blocked the main Mathura Road.
“At this point of time, the assembly was declared unlawful. The respondent repeatedly announced on loud speakers that the assembly was declared unlawful and directed the mob to disperse. However, the mob, instead of following the direction of the respondent, started pelting stones, bricks, bottles etc. on police personnel and public properties,” it said.
In a violent confrontation between the police and anti-CAA protesters on December 15 last year, petrol bombs were targeted at police personnel, ordinary citizens and the media as a raging mob seized parts of south Delhi refused to let go.