The National Federation of Indian Women’s fact-finding report has demanded a judicial inquiry and a white paper by the Union home ministry on the incidents that took place on February 10 outside the Jamia University, alleging police brutality against students and local residents.
Students of Jamia Millia Islamia University had attempted to take a peaceful protest march to the Parliament House against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register (CAA, NRC and NPR) and were stopped by the police, who put up barricades to block the march from going forward.
The National Federation of Indian Women, led by activist Aruna Roy, said in its press release that its report found 70-80 persons between the ages of 15 and 60 had suffered violence, with 30-35 men and 15-17 women suffering from grievous injuries.
NFIW said the report was compiled after talking to victims, students, teachers, activists, medical professional, administrative staff, and legal professionals reports.
Allegations of sexual assault
The report alleges that the Delhi Police sexually assaulted 45 women and men during the protest.
“Women were molested by the male policemen, who attempted to tear their clothes, punched their breasts or stomped on them with their boots, as well as tried to insert their batons into the vaginas. At least 15 women who were stomped on in their private parts, and they suffered injuries in their vaginas,” the report said. “Women, as young as 16 and as old as 60, were sexually assaulted, many of who are suffering now from serious gynaecological complications.”
The report said the attack on men was equally severe.“About 30 boys (students and protestors) were picked up to be taken to the police station. In the approximately 40 minute bus drive to the station, the boys were constantly beaten in the bus, their groins kicked at with boots,” the report said.
NFIW said these details were based on testimonies given to them by survivors, their spokespersons, medical practitioners, legal and medical advisors.
Allegations of Chemical attack
The report said eyewitnesses told NFIW that at about 6:30 pm on February 10 they had seen misty air from a distance and saw that an odourless spray was being used on the protestors.
“The spray was not tear gas as no one complained of tears or irritation to the eyes. What the protestors did complain about was immediate immobility, drowsiness and severe headaches. They also experienced choking and muscle pain. Most were unable to stand for hours after being sprayed on. A few students, who moved away from the area where the gas was being sprayed also complained of nausea, headaches and muscle pain that made it difficult for them to move. When they tried to get back to the barricades to help others, they were either beaten up or sprayed on again rendering them incapable of any movement. It is evident that spray was a chemical with serious health implications.”
The report said that several survivors complained of choking, vomiting and limited mobility continuing for over a week after the attack. “Patients were checking in with symptoms of palpitations, muscle atrophy and spasms at different medical centres and hospitals in the vicinity,” it said.
Survivors and administrative staff of different hospitals and clinics said doctors had been intimidated by policemen in plainclothes to not conduct any tests, the report said.
NFIW has demanded that a team of doctors investigate the nature of injuries of the survivors. It also asked that the team investigate the use of chemical spray on the protestors and submit a public report.