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Supreme Court of India Rejects Petitions Seeking Intervention in Jamia University Protests Violence

© REUTERS / ADNAN ABIDIPolicemen stand outside the Jamia Milia University following a protest against a new citizenship law, in New Delhi, India, December 15, 2019
Policemen stand outside the Jamia Milia University following a protest against a new citizenship law, in New Delhi, India, December 15, 2019 - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): Reports and videos of violence by police forces against protesting students in Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi, and Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh surfaced on Sunday. India has been witnessing country-wide protests against the new Citizenship Amendment Act since last week.

While hearing the pleas filed in the wake of the recent violence witnessed at universities in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, India's apex court on Tuesday refused to intervene in the matter, citing that the facts in the incidents needed to be established first.

The Supreme Court of India said the matter should be taken to the concerned High Courts, where the reported incidents have occurred. "Having regard for the nature of the matter, the dispute and the vast area over which the matter has spread, we do not think it is feasible to appoint one committee for this."

The Bench comprised of India's Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices B.R. Gavai and Suryakant said the High Court might appoint former Supreme Court Judges to conduct an inquiry into the concerns raised, after hearing the Central Government and the concerned State Governments.

After the counsel including Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Colin Gonsalves mentioned the matter on Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court Bench said: "We are confident that appropriate inquiries will be made."

On Sunday, several rounds of shots were heard at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi, while heavy police forces were deployed at the site.

According to Jamia Millia Islamia University's Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmed Khan, the police entered the university campus building by force, and several students were reportedly taken in for questioning in police vehicles.

The protests at the universities are being witnessed in the wake of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) enacted last week, grants citizenship to illegal immigrants from six religious minorities – Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, if they arrived in India before 2015 but excludes Muslims with the same circumstances.

A segment of Muslims fears that when the NRC is launched across India, only Muslims will have to prove their citizenship and not people of any other faiths. Regardless of being illegal migrants in India from neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, under this new Act, non-muslims will just need to show their papers as per the exemptions granted under the new citizenship law.

More than 100 activists and 35 police officers, including some senior officers, were injured in the protests at Jamia Millia Islamia while about 60 students were reportedly injured at Aligarh Muslim University.

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