Why Delhi police waited at JNU gates for permission to enter campus? Their reason
As a mob wielding sticks, iron rods and hammers assaulted students and damaged property on Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on Sunday night, police teams stood outside the gate and entered the campus only at 8pm. The police explained that they were waiting for an official permission from the varsity administration to enter the campus, as required by the law.
However, an FIR registered by the police on Monday mentions that the university officials had sent a written request to the police to reach the campus, when the first incident of violence was reported from Periyar hostel at around 3.45pm on Sunday. HT has a copy of the FIR.
According to the FIR, the police were informed, at around 3.45pm, that some ”students” were fighting and damaging property at Periyar hostel. “....At around the same time, we received a letter from JNU,requesting the police to control the situation,” reads the FIR.
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Deputy Commissioner of Police (South West) Devender Arya said a PCR van reached the campus to ascertain the situation. An inspector and 15-20 personnel, deployed in plain clothes at JNU’s administration block, who remain deployed at the campus following Delhi High Court’s orders, also responded to the calls.
“Some 40-50 unidentified people, some of them covering their faces with mufflers and cloth and carrying sticks, were vandalising property in the hostel and were assaulting students. The rioters fled after seeing the police. The police personnel brought the situation under control,” said Arya.
Around 7pm, the police again received calls from the campus about a “mob attack” and vandalism at Sabarmati T-point and Sabarmati hostel. Another PCR van and the same policemen responded to the call.
“The policemen found a group of 40-50 rioters carrying sticks were vandalising properties in the hostel and assaulting students there. The police used a public address system to warn the mob not to damage property and disperse peacefully. Despite warnings, the mob continued the violence and paid no heed to the police orders,” Arya said.
He said since the number of calls to the police were increasing and many students getting injured, the policemen on campus called for reinforcements. However, despite already having the university authorisation to intervene, as per the FIR, the police force stopped at the gate and waited for an official permission to enter the campus.
When pointed out the anomaly, DCP Arya explained, “There must be a mistake while framing the FIR. We received permission only at 7.45pm. Our teams entered the campus at around 8pm. Since the FIR has been frozen, the correction cannot be made now. We will stick to our official version (of 7.45 pm) in all the subsequent reports.”
Retired IPS and former UP DGP Vikram Singh, however, described the contradiction as a major “discrepancy”. “This is a major discrepancy. An FIR has a greater authenticity than what an officer says on record. It has raised a serious question on the credibility of the Delhi Police. This will also affect the case in the court of law.”
He also said that the police must not have waited to enter the campus since under the provisions of CrPC the police are empowered to act in cases of hot pursuit, violence or a law and order situation.
”It is difficult to understand why Delhi police waited for permission while students were being beaten inside. This shows the double standards of the Delhi Police. They did not seek permission while entering Jamia Millia but waited at the gates of JNU,” the former UP DGP said.
On December 15, Delhi police personnel barged into the Jamia Millia Islamia campus after protests outside the university turned violent and led to clashes. The police team fired tear gas shells, stormed into the library and lathi charged students inside the campus.
More than twenty-four hours after Sunday’s violence, the police are yet to make any arrest.
Also, despite 34 people suffering injuries, some of them of serious nature, no sections of IPC pertaining to the assault and injuries were mentioned in the FIR. “Such charges will be added to the FIR as and when we get the medical reports of the injured persons. The sections of IPC would be added as per the nature of the injuries mentioned in the medical reports,” said DCP Arya.