Delhi HC refuses to give Jamia's student rioters protection from arrest
19 December 2019
The Delhi high court today declined interim protection to students from coercive action, including arrest, for their involvement is arson and rioting over what they called protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel, however, issued notices to the centre, the Delhi government and the police on a public interest litigation seeking a fact-finding committee to look into the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia during protests against the CAA.
The court’s decision came while hearing a batch of six petitions seeking medical treatment and compensation for injured students who have been engaged in rioting and arson in the name of protest against CAA over the past few days.
The petitioner argued that multiple reports had confirmed that students had serious injuries, and a large number of tear gas cannons had been fired. “Fifty-two students have been seriously injured and no medical assistance have been provided to them. We seek an independent enquiry, because police can’t be expected to investigate itself,” LiveLaw quoted the petitioner as saying.
The petitioners also said police force was unjustified, even as the police said it was a mix of students and outsiders pelting stones from their hideouts in the campus that forced them to enter the campus.
Lawyers chanted “shame shame” after the high court declined students interim protection.
“My concerns are unregulated and unduly arrests of students. Lawyers can protect themselves, how can we expect vulnerable students to do the same,” senior advocate Indira Jaising said, while admitting, that even arrested students were released later.
The petitioners were represented by advocates including Jaising, Colin Gonsalves and Salman Khurshid.
After hearing the petitioners’ arguments, the court refused to grant interim protection. It has, however, issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and police.
The Delhi Police made 12 fresh arrests in connection with the violence during protests in the northeast part of the city against the amended Citizenship Act, officials said today. The police had arrested nine people on Tuesday and Wednesday in connection with the violence.
Giving details of the arrests, officials said while 12 people were nabbed in connection with the violence and vandalism in Seelampur, five have been held for the Jaffrabad case and four in the Dayal Pur cases. Angry protesters demanding scrapping of the amended legislation had pelted police personnel with stones, torched several motorbikes and vandalised two police booths as well as three buses in Seelampur on Tuesday, leaving 21 people injured.