Senior Advocate Indira Jaising on Monday urged the Supreme Court to take suo moto cognizance of reports of police violence against students of Jamia Milia University and Aligarh Muslim University in the wake of ongoing protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
Mentioning the matter before the Chief Justice SA Bobde, the Senior Advocate submitted that grave human rights violations were unleashed by the uniformed men on students.
When the CJI said that all rioting must be stopped, Jaising replied "rioting was engineered". Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, pressing for SC intervention, asked for sending retired judges to review the situation in the campus. Gonsalves submitted that police had attacked hostel rooms and the library of the University.
He said that the Court will hear the matter tomorrow, if the violence is stopped. CJI said that the Court cannot be "bullied".
"We know how the rioting takes place...we are aware of the rights and we will decide on the rights but not amidst all this rioting...The court cannot be forced to decide anything only because some people decide to throw stones outside...this court cannot be bullied...law cannot be taken into their hands just because they are students...we will hear and see what can be done only when things cool down, with a calm frame of mind...", the CJ asserted.
Agreeing to hear the plea for judicial enquiry on Tuesday on the condition that the violent protests and the arson ceases, CJ Bobde was, however, of the view that there is little that the court can do since what is happening is a law and order issue which is for the police to handle. He also observed that "both the sides have acted in a certain way".
There are reports of widespread police atrocities against students of Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University who were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Several students were injured in police lathi charge. Many were taken into custody yesterday night. Students told the media that police had even barged into the library and fired tear gas shells inside it, and attacked those who were sitting there. Jamia's chief proctor accused the police of entering its campus by force and beating students and staff.
Human Rights Law Network is moving a petition seeking directions for providing medical assistance and compensation to injured students, dropping of criminal charges against them.