Action assured in lawyer clash, Delhi cops end protest after 11 hours

Delhi Police, police protest, assault by lawyers
Police personnel display placards during a protest in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI Photo

Thousands of Delhi Police personnel, who staged a demonstration outside the police headquarters in the national capital over alleged assault by lawyers over the past few days, ended their protest after 11 long hours on Tuesday (November 5) evening following an assurance that their grievances will be addressed.

The agitation comes three days after a clash broke out between police and lawyers in Delhi’s Tis Hazari court complex on Saturday over a parking dispute. In the violence that ensued, at least 20 police personnel and several lawyers were injured and a vehicle was set afire.

Also read | Police-lawyer clash: Delhi police personnel protest assault on cops

A day later, the Delhi high court directed suspension of two senior police officers and transferred two more in this connection.

Meanwhile on Monday, a video surfaced on social media that showed a group of lawyers assaulting a policeman reportedly outside Delhi’s Saket Court. He was also seen being slapped by one of the lawyers as he tried to escape the spot on his two-wheeler.

Also read | Lawyers of Delhi HC, district courts stir against clash with police, shun work

The outrage over these alleged incidents of violence touched a peak high on Tuesday as several police personnel, many in uniform, staged a protest outside their Delhi headquarters. The protest that commenced at 9AM with only a handful of police personnel gathered nearly two thousand supporters from the fraternity as time went by, reports said. Over time it also grew louder as the protesters started raising slogans.

Families of police personnel display placards during a protest march at India Gate | PTI Photo

In the evening, families of the striking police personnel arrived at India gate in a show of strength to the constabulary. The protesting cops had also placed a series of demands to call of their strike, including the revoking of suspension of the two police officers. They also received support from their counterparts in Bihar, Haryana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Also, the IAS officers association expressed solidarity with the striking cops.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik stepped out of the headquarters and appealed to the protesters to disperse and resume work. “I appeal to all to maintain peace. It’s trying time for us. We need to fulfil the responsibility of maintaining law and order,” he told the protesters.

Also read | Lawyers allege police firing during clash at Delhi court, cops deny

Later, he told the media that FIR has been registered in the incidents in which police personnel were assaulted and that their concerns have been taken up at appropriate levels. “A case has been registered and action will be taken in Saket incident. Delhi high court has ordered judicial inquiry in Tis Hazari Court incident,” he told reporters.

Delhi Police, police protest, assault by lawyers
Delhi Police personnel hold a candle light protest at Delhi Police Headquarters | PTI Photo

After the protesting cops refused despite Patnaik’s appeal, even Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal called on the lawyers and the police to work in harmony and also promised ex-gratia to the injured police personnel.

Thereafter, Satish Golcha, Special Commissioner of Police, Delhi announced compensation for the injured policemen. “All the policemen who were injured in Tis Hazari clash will be given a compensation of at least ₹25,000 by Delhi Police. I request all of you to please return to your duty points,” he said. He also assured them that a review petition will be filed against the Delhi high court order.

Also read | Clash between police, advocates at Tis Hazari Court; 20 cops injured

Even Devesh Srivastava, Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Range), assured the protesters that all their demands will be accepted and that no departmental action will be taken against the protesting law enforcers.

Earlier during the day, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, a former IPS officer, advised the Delhi Police to remain firm on its stand. “Delhi Police should take a stand and be firm on it come what may,” media reports quoted her as saying.