Following the violence during anti-CAA protests at the Jamia Millia Islamia university earlier this month, the university administration and the Delhi Police are at loggerheads over the surrendering of the CCTV footage. While the Delhi police want to access the footage captured by CCTV cameras in the university campus to identify the rioters, the university is not agreeing for the same. The university administration had alleged that the Delhi Police had forcibly barged into the campus without permission, the police, on the other hand, had claimed that it was left with no option but to enter the university in order to prevent the situation from getting out of control.
The anti-CAA protestors in Jamia on December 15 not only carried out vandalism, arson and rioting under the pretext of ‘peaceful protests’ but they also allegedly pelted stones at the police. The CCTV footage will play an important role in ascertaining the allegations against the rioters, but the Delhi Police has so far not yet received the CCTV footage from the Jamia administration.
According to a senior police official, when the SHO of Jamia Nagar went to the university to collect the CCTV footage, a raft of students gathered opposing the police official from collecting the evidence. The students studiously refused to provide the CCTV footage of the December 15 protest to the police. The students’ staunch denial for handing over the evidence begs a question that if they have something to hide from the police. The SHO had to return empty-handed from the university.
However, the Jamia Millia Islamia administration had earlier assured the police in writing that the CCTV recordings would be handed over to the police so that the violence during the protests could be properly investigated. Now, it appears that the university administration is reneging on its promise to deliver the videos to the police.
Senior officials claim that if the CCTV recordings are destroyed, further action will be initiated against the university.
Defending the University administration, the Chief Proctor of Jamia, Wasim Ahmed, said, “On December 15, Delhi Police detained several Jamia students. The police had then made the students to sign a document, which read that the police will have to be given the CCTV footage for investigation. They have asked for the footage and we are considering it right now. A police officer came for this but as soon as the students came, he left from here.”
Jamia Millia Islamia has asked the Ministry of Human Resources to conduct a judicial inquiry into the entire matter. Therefore, they do not want to hand over the CCTV footage to the police. The Jamia administration has also complained to the National Human Rights Commission about the matter.