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Published On: Tue, Nov 5th, 2019

Delhi Police stage protest demanding action against lawyers

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TH04Delhi-police-1NEW DELHI : The unprecedented protests by policemen in Delhi that started this morning ended after nearly 11 hours after assurances of action from Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the top police officers.
The clashes between the police and lawyers that started over the weekend had spun out of control as more than a thousand policemen gathered outside the Delhi police headquarters, demanding justice and protection. Service rules bar policemen from holding protests; the unprecedented demonstration had the Centre on its toes and caught the attention of the courts.
The Delhi High Court issued notice to the top lawyers’ bodies — the Bar Councils of India and Delhi. The home ministry called for a report. After a meeting in the evening, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal assured action. The police from Haryana and Bihar extended support to their colleagues in Delhi.
At least a thousand policemen gathered outside the police headquarters since morning, blocking an arterial road of the city. The policemen were upset over what they perceived as a lack of the government’s concern about their well-being. Cutting across parties, many political leaders happen to be former lawyers, few come from the police.
The lack of any response from the government or their senior officers to Saturday’s clash at a Delhi court — when at least 20 policemen were injured — and the assault on an officer on Monday was the tipping point. The guilty have gone unpunished and many of the assembled policemen said they fear being targeted when in uniform.download (3)
The protesting officers have submitted a list of 10 demands, which includes the creation of a Police Protection Act. Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik was heckled and booed by his officers when he came to defuse the situation and persuade them to return to their posts.
The Delhi Police are under the control of the Union Home Ministry. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who is the Centre’s representative in Delhi, held a meeting with top officials of the Delhi Police. At the meeting, Mr Baijal said advocates and police are “important pillars of criminal justice system who should work in complete harmony… it is imperative to restore the trust between the two and ensure that justice is done impartially”.
What also upset the policemen was the lack of initiative on their behalf after the Delhi High Court transferred two officers and suspended two others over Saturday’s clash. At an emergency hearing yesterday, the court had ordered a judicial probe. It also said no coercive action can be taken against advocates, who initially called a day’s strike and then withdrew it.
Ordering the Bar Councils get their members to exercise restraint, the Delhi High Court today asked them to file a response by Wednesday, when the matter will be heard.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju initially tweeted that being a cop was a “thankless job”, but the tweet was later deleted. “Being a cop is a thankless job. But they don’t do it for thanks. Police officers put their lives on the line every day. They are damned if they do, and damned even if they don’t. What gets lost in all the anti-police rhetoric is the family left at home while a policeman serves,” the deleted tweet read.
The Indian Police Service(IPS) tweeted its support, saying: “Incident involving police and lawyers unfortunate. All should take a balanced view of it based on facts in public domain. Countrywide, police stands in solidarity with those police personnel subjected to physical assault and humiliation. Condemn all attempts to break law, by anyone!”
The Congress, which supported the police protest, questioned the silence from Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Calling it a failure of the BJP and Amit Shah, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “”Delhi police personnel are demanding justice, have been protesting for 10 hours, so are their relatives. Where is Amit Shah? Why isn’t he finding a solution to this?”
At least 20 policemen and eight lawyers were injured and 20 vehicles were vandalised in Saturday’s clash at Tis Hazari court, which started over a wrongly parked vehicle. The attack was followed by another violent confrontation on Monday, when a policeman was slapped and beaten outside Saket District Court by a group of lawyers.
Meanwhile,Families of Delhi police personnel held a protest at India Gate and lighted candles on Tuesday demanding justice following clash between police and lawyers at Tis Hazari court on November 2. The protestors were holding placards some of which read ‘save my husband from hooliganism of lawyers’ and ‘are lawyers above the law’.
A group of Delhi Police personnel and their family members on Tuesday sat on a protest outside police headquarters to protest against the assault on them by lawyers at the Tis Hazari court on November 2. Hundreds of police personnel, seen in uniform and wearing a black band to condemn the attacks on their rank by a group of lawyers, gathered at the Police Headquarters (PHQ) to hold a ‘silent’ protest.
The assembled cops and their family members have pledged for ‘no slogans, no demands’ protest. Several of them hoisted banners that read slogans like, ‘Save Police’, ‘We are Humans too’ among other messages. The protesters pointed out and they and several of their colleagues have been thrashed across the city and its courts by groups of lawyers since the November 2 violence.

Following the incident, the Delhi High Court directed a judicial enquiry into the incident. One Assistant Sub-Inspector was suspended and a special investigation team (SIT) was also constituted to probe the November 2 violence.
On Monday, the functioning of the judiciary remained stalled as lawyers abstained across district courts in the national capital against the assault. Several advocates assembly outside the Tis Hazari premises, held a demonstration and demanded the arrest of policemen allegedly involved in the Saturday clashes.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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