Anti-Citizenship Act protests: Supreme Court to hear plea against police action on students of Jamia University, AMU

The apex court agreed to hear the petition to look into the high-handed police action against students and send retired judges to the two universities to probe what went down.

Anti-Citizenship Act protests: Supreme Court to hear plea against police action on students of Jamia University, AMU

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear a petition on Tuesday (December 17) against police action on students of Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh during anti-Citizenship Act protests on Sunday. The apex court agreed to hear the petition to look into the high-handed police action against students and send retired judges to the two universities to probe what went down.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Bobde had categorically told the petitioners, lawyers Indira Jaising and Colin Gonsalves, that the matter will be heard only when the violent protests will stop and the issue would not escalate further.

When the Supreme Court refused to hear the matter saying, "Let all this stop and then only we will hear," Indira Jaising had said: "We are here to request on violence unleashed all over the country. This kind of violence...Supreme Court must take suo motu. It is a serious human rights violation."

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In a terse remark, the CJI said, "We can't be bullied like this. Just because someone is being asked to leave the campus etc..Public properties are being destroyed, buses being burnt..this must stop," adding "Just because they happen to be students, it doesn't mean they can take law and order in their hands, this has to be decided when things cool down."

The Chief Justice also said, "We don't want to be held at ransom. We are not to be bullied like this. We will hear and see what to do. It is a law and order problem and for the police to handle. Let me see what we can do. It someone wants to take to streets, don't come to court. We are not against peaceful demonstrations." 

The CJI had also asked the lawyers to circulate their petitions while adding that the matter will be taken up on Tuesday. "But remember, we will hear this only when there is no further escalation. If protests and destruction of public properties continue, we won't hear you," he added.

Notably, three buses were set ablaze and several other vehicles vandalised as anti-citizenship law protesters, including students of Jamia Milia Islamia University, clashed with the police near New Friends Colony in South Delhi on Sunday, leaving dozens of people and several cops injured.

The police have been accused of using excessive force including lathi-charge and opening of tear gas during student protests that turned violent at the two universities on Sunday evening. 

On Monday, Delhi Police said that it had used tear gas to deal with violence during the protests in Delhi on Sunday and no bullet was fired. "The police has only used tear gas to disperse the violent mob which was pelting stones and committing arson. No gunshots were fired by the police. If anybody has received gunshot injuries then we will investigate to find out who is responsible behind it," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South-East Delhi, Chinmoy Biswal told ANI.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police registered two FIRs pertaining to property damage and riots in connection with the violence that erupted during the protest against Citizenship Amendment Act in Jamia Nagar area.