Policemen ripped the clothes of a girl student and she was kept in detention in her bra. Several girl students were molested by policemen and many more were beaten black and blue without much of a provocation, said a large number of JNU students on Saturday, recalling the violence unleashed on them by Delhi Police on Friday evening.
They were responding to the tweets of Madhur Verma, IPS and DCP, Central Zone of Delhi, in which the police officer shared videos that showed students assaulting policemen. The SHO of Hauz Khas PS was hit on his head with an umbrella. “ By what definition can anybody call this JNU protest as peaceful, the officer asked rhetorically.
But the students responded on Saturday with more videos to call the bluff. The march was completely peaceful, they claimed and this is borne out by shopkeepers on the route who were one in praising the students for causing no disruption to the traffic on Friday. “ Yes, they were shouting slogans but they were walking on the side of the road and made sure that vehicle movement was not disturbed,” said several shopkeepers.
Harish (name changed), a fourth year student told NH, “There was a policeman who would wade into the crowd and provoke us by manhandling a few of us. He would then return to the policemen watching and would wink at them as if he is saying he is being successful in his attempts.”
They had permission from the police, they claimed, to march 13 Kilometres on foot. They started from JNU campus in the evening and wanted it to end in a public meeting in central Delhi. Policemen were walking by their side and the procession was peaceful till the police barricades stopped them near the INA market and ahead of the Safdarjung flyover.
“When we showed them that we had permission to take out the procession, policemen present claimed they had orders to stop us. And before we could decide on our next course, they had unleashed water cannons, tear gas and charged into the crowd of students with canes.
“There was a girl who the police were beating up. They were tearing her clothes and when she got detained, she was in her bra. To help her, I moved forward and that’s when they detained me too,” Kriti told NH. “We were threatened that we would be framed in a case of beating up police officers,” she recalled.
“Even after they had detained us, they kept beating us up till one of our professors came,” Sudhanya added.
What did the police want to achieve, the students wondered aloud on Sunday. And who gave the orders to stop the march after the police had given permission in the first place ? Till Saturday afternoon, no explanation was available.