Delhi Police Personnel Take To Streets Against Attack On Colleagues
Thousands of police personnel protested outside the Police Headquarters on Tuesday to demand action against those involved in an attack on their colleague outside the Saket court, the unprecedented scenes of police protest leading their chief Amulya Patnaik urging them to resume duty.
The tension between police personnel and lawyers had been building up since Saturday when a clash over a parking dispute led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured.
As surging crowds of protesters gathered outside the Police Headquarters in ITO, leading to traffic snarls, Patnaik came out of his office to assure them that their concerns will be addressed.
"We have to behave like a disciplined force. The government and the people expect us to uphold the law, it is our big responsibility. I urge you to resume duty," Patnaik told the police personnel.
"The last few days have been testing for us. A judicial enquiry is underway and I request you to have faith in the process," he told the gathering.
The entire top brass of the Delhi police tried to pacify the police personnel who were chanting slogans demanding justice and wore black bands. Delhi Police has a strength of over 80,000 personnel.
Holding up placards with slogans such as "We are human in police uniforms", "We are not punching bags" and "Protectors Need Protection", the policemen and policewomen urged their seniors to stand with them to save the honour of the uniform.
"Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal went to meet injured lawyers but did not meet our policemen who were also injured in the incident. Isn't it unfair to us," said a protestor.
The protest caused traffic snarls at several intersections leading to ITO.
Delhi Traffic police took to Twitter to issue traffic advisories.
The immediate provocation for the protest was an on-duty policeman being thrashed by advocates outside the Saket Court on Monday. A video of the incident, showing some men beating up a man in uniform on a bike, was circulated widely on social media.
When the policeman was leaving the spot, a man also hit his bike with his helmet.
The protesters also demanded action against the lawyer who assaulted the cop.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju shared the video on Twitter saying, "Let's not take law into our hands. It's not question of supporting any group".
Saturday's clash also led to many vehicles being vandalised or set on fire, according to officials. The incidents drew sharp criticism from senior police officials who took to Twitter to register their discontent.
He was joined by former Delhi Deputy commissioner of Police Aslam Khan, now posted in Goa.
Khan posted the attack video with a caption, "Khakhi going down to the worse".
The Indian Police Service (Central) Association also condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with colleagues subjected to "humiliation" and "assault".
"Saddened to see such treatment meted out to Police officers who spend their entire lives protecting civil society and maintaining law & order," tweeted former Jammu & Kashmir Director General of Police SP Vaid.
Former chief spokesperson of Delhi Police, Deependra Pathak, said, "lumpen elements in the garb of Black Coat are on total rampage endangering social orderliness in Delhi. Fear of law need to be instilled among these mischief mongers. @DelhiPolice need to interpose pending Police-Lawyer clash cases".