15 women, 30 men sexually assaulted by Delhi Police at February CAA clash in Jamia: Report
As many as 45 people were sexually assaulted by Delhi Police during a confrontation at Jamia Nagar on 10 February amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has said in a report released Tuesday.
Currently led by activist Aruna Roy, the NFIW is a 66-year-old social activism vehicle whose founding members included freedom fighter Aruna Asaf Ali. The protest in question was an attempted march to Parliament led by students of the Jamia Millia Islamia that was stopped by Delhi Police. Residents of Jamia Nagar also reportedly participated in the protest.
According to the NFIW, its report on the 10 February face-off is based on a fact-finding mission conducted by the organisation whereby it gathered testimonies from “survivors”, and doctors and nurses who treated the injured.
Around 70 people, ranging in age from 15-60 years, suffered violence in the face-off, the NFIW said, adding that there was a targeted sexual attack on women and other protesters.
“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 (sic),” the NFIW said in its report, which was released by Roy at a press conference.
The sexual assault on men, it added, was equally severe. “The attack on their groins and rectum resulted in severe injuries,” it said, noting that 15 women and 30 men were at the receiving end of the abuse.
ThePrint reached Delhi Police public relations officer Eish Singhal via calls and messages, but he refused to comment. Messages and calls to Delhi Police commissioner S.N. Shrivastava went unanswered. However, Delhi Police had denied any use of force at the protest when allegations of brutalities first emerged in its immediate aftermath.
‘Fierceness of assault’
The NFIW has claimed in the report that it met a “few women whose vaginas were torn due to the blunt end of the baton being inserted”.
“The pain, pus and blood rendered them bed-ridden for weeks after the assault. Women, as young as 16 and as old as 60, were sexually assaulted, many of who are now suffering from serious gynaecological complications. A woman who had previously been operated for a caesarean delivery kept pleading for the beatings to stop, but the assault continued till the cop was pulled back,” the report states.
The report also says that the “narratives and testimonies highlight the role of both police as well as those in plain or fake uniforms” in the attack. Students and teachers, it adds, also alleged the use of chemical gas on peaceful protesters- another allegation that was earlier denied by Delhi Police.
The report states doctors treated survivors for cracked and fractured ribs, ankle and bones, adding that there was a “fierceness of assault” on victims. The instruments used for “beating” protesters, it states, were batons, leather boots, elbows, knees and knuckles.
The NFIW report has drawn attention to the fact that no FIR has been filed to date regarding the injuries suffered in the face-off, and sought a “white paper (a government document containing information on a certain issue)” on the incident from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which oversees Delhi Police. It has also demanded that the government institute a special judicial enquiry to “investigate the heinous nature of the crimes perpetrated by the men in uniform”.
Activist Aruna Roy said, as she released the report, that independent fact-finding missions are “critical” because “no one can trust investigating agencies in the current scenario”.