AMU violence: HC asks UP to act against guilty cops

The Allahabad high court on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and Director General of Police, the director general of the Central Reserve Police Force, the Vice Chancellor and registrar of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to adhere to the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, including paying compensation to six students who were grievously hurt in police action and acting against the policemen who lathi-charged students during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest on the university campus on December 15 last year.

The court directed the officers concerned to comply with the order and file a compliance report by March 25, the next date of hearing.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal passed the order on a petition filed by Mohammad Aman Khan of Prayagraj, alleging police brutality on students.

The petition urged the court to pass several directions, including one to set up a court-monitored committee for a judicial inquiry into acts of violence and arbitrary detention of students by the Uttar Pradesh police and paramilitary forces on the AMU campus from December 12 to December 15 last year.

 

On January 8, the high court had asked the NHRC to conduct an inquiry into the matter and the same was done by a six-member team of the rights body.

The report submitted by the team was accepted by the NHRC. Subsequently, a copy of the report, along with the order of the proceedings, was sent to the court.

The NHRC recommendations include paying compensation to six students who were grievously injured in the police lathi-charge and disciplinary action against the policemen seen in CCTV footage indulging in caning students and damaging two-wheelers on the university campus.

The commission also recommended that the police force, CRPF and Rapid Action Force (RAF) should be sensitised and there should be special training modules to inculcate professionalism in handling such situations.

The court also directed the state DGP to ensure that the special investigation team (SIT) set up vide its order of January 6 investigated all the related cases on merit and in a time-bound manner.

The court advised the DGP and senior police officers to set up a robust intelligence gathering system and take steps to counter rumour-mongering and circulation of distorted and false news, especially on the social media.

The AMU vice chancellor and registrar were asked to establish a mechanism of better communication with students so that they were not influenced by outsiders, rusticate unruly students and take up confidence-building measures to rebuild the trust of students so that such incidents did not occur in the future.

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