A 44-second video clip that surfaced on social media over the weekend has put Delhi Police in a spot. Apparently taken by a close-circuit camera in Jamia Millia Islamia’s Dr Zakir Husain Library on 15 December, and sent out by a group called Jamia Coordination Committee, the video casts doubt on the police’s version of events that motivated a lathi charge in the university’s library. The force had claimed that off-campus protesters against the new citizenship law had gotten violent and its personnel reached the library in hot pursuit. This narrative was also meant to explain why the Jamia vice-chancellor’s go-ahead was not taken before the cops stormed in, as norms required. But, in corroboration of claims made by students, the video shows youth seated at study desks burst upon and attacked with batons.
The police have said they would probe the video’s authenticity. But whether they declare it real or fake, their credibility appears to have reached an all-time low. Expect civil society voices to call for reforms that free law-enforcers from the control of those in power and align their loyalty to the Constitution.