The Delhi Police have come under heavy criticism after a video emerged showing police brutality towards student demonstrators during a protest outside the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) office. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's supporters have jumped to the defence of the Delhi Police and praised the beating of student protesters.
A number of students had gathered in protest against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and RSS over their role in the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula in January. A video emerged on 1 February showing the student protesters being beaten by police officers, as well as other men in plain clothes. It remains unclear whether those not in uniform were police officials or RSS supporters.
The video shows police officers attacking students with batons and pulling female students by the hair and throwing them to the ground. A photojournalist, Rahul, posted on Facebook to describe how even the media was attacked by the policemen and posted images of how they broke his camera.
While thousands have been criticising the Delhi Police for the brutality, a number of people have praised the police for attacking "goons". One user posted on YouTube video that he felt "proud" of India's police after watching the brutality, and said that this is what made them "the best in the world". He accused the female protesters of being potential "gangsters armed with rocket launchers, missiles and grenades". Another person urged the police to arrest the protesters "before they create problems for [the] next Parliament session".
A senior police official told the Hindu that the video was being "examined" and that an additional video recorded by the police was also being looked at. A statement released by the opposition Congress Party in response to the video accused the Modi government of "indulging in the worst kind of fascism and autocratic behaviour". Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that Modi's government "seems to be at war with students".