New Delhi: The students of Jamia Millia Islamia, who were part of a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act Monday, have accused the Delhi Police of “physical and mental torture”, including assault on private parts.
The injured students held a press conference Wednesday and accused the police of kicking them with their boots and hitting them with lathis.
“Female police officers snatched my hijab and burqa. When I fell on the ground, a male police officer stomped on my chest and stomach with his boots,” Rafia Fatima told ThePrint.
Fatima also showed her medical reports, which say she has a “blunt chest injury”.
The protesters had planned to march to Parliament from Jamia Nagar, but police stopped them outside the Holy Family Hospital and weren’t allowed to cross the barricades. Following this, a clash ensued and at least 16 students were injured. They were admitted to Al-Shifa hospital.
At least nine students were detained by the police subsequently and kept at Badarpur police station until 7.30 pm Monday.
Chanda Yadav, who was one of these nine students, alleged that police slapped her while taking her to the police station.
“I was the only woman in the police bus at the time when a police officer slapped me. I needed a painkiller because my body was hurting from all the push-and-pull, but I was denied that too,” Yadav said.
The Delhi Police has denied the allegations, saying they are “baseless”.
“These insinuations and allegations are false, malicious, reprehensible,” a senior police officer told ThePrint.
“The Delhi Police follows the highest standards of professional policing, utmost patience and restraint is being exercised in handling the protests while ensuring the safety and security of all, including the protesters,” he added.
‘Police used communal slurs’
Several students accused the police of hurling communal slurs at them.
“The police officers kept kicking me in my stomach and said ‘daadhi rakh ke tu India ki baat karega? (How are you speaking of India after keeping a beard?),” said Mohammed Qasim, a student of Jamia, at the press conference.
Another student, Suyash Tripathi, said police officers asked him his name and when he replied, they asked him what he was doing at the protest.
“‘Tu in ch****o ke beech me kaise phas gaya? (How did you get stuck with these fools?)’. They asked me,” Tripathi claimed.
Another student Abu Darda showed injuries on his neck and forehead.
“They kept hitting with their lathis, horizontally. Once they took me inside the bus, they asked me to sit on the floor of the bus and they kicked me, so that the people outside couldn’t see,” Darda said.
Several other students present at the press conference accused the police of “hitting in their private parts”.
With inputs from Ananya Bhardwaj.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.