The Karnataka High Court, hearing the case of Mangaluru police firing on the protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 19, directed the Mangaluru district magistrate on Tuesday to gather video evidence from those present at the protest on the date of the firing. Two people died in the firing on December 19, and there was widespread anger against the police action – especially after videos surfaced on social media where policemen could be heard complaining that ‘not even one has died’ in their shooting.
On Tuesday, the HC divisional bench consisting of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar, asked the local government to gather videos from mediapersons and the general public. They were directed to issue public notices to mediapersons and the public to send in any videos or CCTV footage they might have of the date of the firing, December 19, 2019. These videos will be set in the record of the courts, and must be preserved, reported legal website BarandBench.
The hearing also confirmed that the National Human Rights Commission had no powers to undertake the matter, and only had the power to begin an inquiry and make recommendations, and only the court can issue a writ.
Two people, Jaleel aged 49 and Nauseen aged 23, died in the police firing in Mangaluru. Several videos of the incidents on December 19 in Mangaluru are already on social media and with public individuals. For instance, on January 12, former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy released a CD consisting of 35 videos shot in Mangaluru on December 19 – one of which debunked police claims.
According to the police, there were people prepared to throw stones at the police, and claimed there was a truck filled with construction debris on standby that the protesters were planning to use. However, Kumaraswamy at the time of releasing the videos, said that the police version of events was wrong, and that the truck was working for a nearby under-construction building.
Several videos of police firing went viral on social media following the firing. In one video, a police officer can be heard saying “not even one person has died.”