Wednesday, February 8, 2023

AMU violence: Allahabad HC orders action against police, compensation to students

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The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the Director-General of Uttar Pradesh Police to identify and take action against the policemen who were involved in lathicharging the students inside the Aligarh Muslim University.

A bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and justice Samit Gopal passed the order on the basis of recommendations by the National Human Rights Commission.

The court has asked the officers concerned to adhere with the recommendations at the earliest and to submit a compliance report on March 25.

“The Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Director General of Police, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Director General, Central Reserve Police Force, Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University and the Registrar, Aligarh Muslim University are directed to adhere with the recommendations made by the Commission at earliest,” the order said.

The high court had last month directed the NHRC to probe into the allegations of police violence and “stray incidents of damaging vehicles and arson” and submit its report within 5 weeks. The human rights body recommended that action must be taken against the delinquent policemen in accordance with the law apart from compensating the injured students

The petitioner submitted that the students had been peacefully protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act since December 13. However, the UP police along with Para military force on December 15, barged into the AMU campus without any just and valid reasons.

The report submitted by the Commission made the following recommendations:

  1. a) Directing the Chief Secretary Govt. of Uttar Pradesh to provide suitable compensation to the six students who have been grievously injured commensurate with their injuries, on humanitarian grounds.
  2. b) Directing the DGP-Uttar Pradesh to identify the policemen (both district police and PAC), as seen in CCTV footages involved in stray incidents of damaging motorcycles and unnecessarily caning the apprehended students which has no bearing on the task of controlling law and order. A suitable action may also be taken against them as per rules and provisions that exist for subordinate officers in UP Police. The police force should be sensitized and special training modules be carried out to inculcate professionalism in handling such situations.
  3. c) Similar directions as in point (b) above may also be given to the Director-General, CRPF for RAF. RAF being a specialized force primarily set up to deal with riots and handle law and order situations, should show utmost professionalism in such crisis situations while at the same time, respecting the human rights of civilians also.
  4. d) Directing DGP of UP, to ensure that the SIT set up vide his order dated 06/01/2020 investigates all the related cases on merits and in a time-bound manner. The Hon’ble court may also like to set the time limit and periodic review, if any, for the completion of investigations on time.
  5. e) The DGP UP and Senior Officers are also advised to improve and set up a robust intelligence gathering system. Special steps may be taken to counter rumour-mongering and circulation of distorted and false news, especially on social media. This is to better control such law and order incidents which occur spontaneously and unexpectedly.
  6. f) To direct the AMU-Vice Chancellor, Registrar and other authorities to establish a mechanism of better communication with the students’ fraternity so that they are not influenced by outsiders and rusticated unruly students. They should take up all confidence-building measures to rebuild the trust of students so that such incidents do not occur in future.”
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