NFIW report on Jamia violence finds men and women were sexually assaulted

Even a chemical gas that left people unconscious and immobile was also used but was unidentified as no blood test was carried out to ascertain its properties

jamia protest

The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), presided over by Aruna Roy, has released a fact finding report on the police violence unleashed on students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi and other protestors involved in a peaceful march on February 10, 2020. The march was in furtherance of their protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). The police put up barricades and blocked their march towards the Parliament and hence the protestors decided upon a peaceful sit-in at the barricades. But what followed was a brutal attack with the spraying of an unidentified chemical gas, pitiless and ferocious beatings and sexual assault on men and women alike.

The fact finding report has been compiled by NFIW after talking to victims, other students, teachers, activists, medical professionals, administrative staff, and legal professionals. The two main issues highlighted in the testimonials are, the use of chemical gas on peaceful protestors and targeted sexual violence on women.

The gas that was sprayed on the protestors was not tear gas but one that caused immediate immobility, drowsiness and severe headaches. When some activists and students asked the police about it, they claimed it to be mosquito fumigation spray that had drifted to the barricades from Holy Family Hospital. But the claim was found to be false since the hospital was about 1 km away and also, the hospital administration denied any fumigation activity carried out there throughout the entire week. Moreover, the effect of the chemical gas proved so hazardous that patients were checking in with symptoms of palpitations, muscle atrophy and spasms at different medical centres and hospitals in the vicinity.

What is surprising is that no blood or urine samples of such patients were collected in order to identify the chemical, the doctors claimed that even if they got any test done, the chemical would not be identifiable as it left behind no residue but it was found that the doctors were apparently intimidated by policemen in plainclothes to not conduct any tests.

As per the report, there was mostly a pattern followed for beating up protestors. Men were hit on the knees and were sprayed with a mild liquid rendering them immobile, while many were also attacked on their genitals. Women, were however, sprayed on first and then after they collapsed, they were beaten up. The attacks were made with blunt objects such as batons, leather boots and were beaten up using elbows, knees and knuckles as a result of which there was no visible scarring and all injuries were internal. The protestors were beaten up by police personnel without name tags, in plain clothes while some attackers wore jeans, non-police helmets and vests over their civilian clothes thus cementing the suspicion that some anti-social elements were allowed by the police to be a part of this institutional assault on citizens.

The report found that all injuries were mostly on four specific spots: chest, navel, groin and feet. Apart from these, many also took beating on their head and neck. The survivors of the attacks recall that the police were beating them as if they were trying to maim them, fracture their skulls or paralyze them by targeting the spine. Even the physically disabled were not spared by the police.

Further, many victims told the fact-finding team that the police used abusive language and anti-Muslim slurs.

Sexual assault

The report precisely found that about 15 women and 30 men were assaulted in their sensitive, private parts. As per the report, 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. Women, as young as 16 and as old as 60, were allegedly sexually assaulted, many of who are now suffering from serious gynaecological complications.

Men were attacked in the groin area and rectum leading to severe injuries.

Beatings on the journey to the police station

About 30 boys who were picked up for being taken to the police station were also beaten up in the bus. Their relatives narrated that when they were released from custody they were unable to move and collapsed with pain.


The NFIW has demanded that the Ministry of Home Affairs release a white paper on the incidents of February 10; that the government institute a special judicial enquiry to investigate the heinous nature of the crimes perpetuated by the police; a team of doctors and retired judges investigate and submit a public report on the use of chemicals; Implementation of recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee Report of 2013 relating to sexual violence by public servants, safety of witnesses and complainants in cases of sexual assault and setting up special commissioner for women’s safety; police reforms and lastly, compensation to the survivors of the attack.

The complete report may be read here.



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