Two policemen are heard discussing the assault on a senior woman police officer in an audio clip that has emerged after the clashes between police and lawyers at Delhi’s Tis Hazari court on Saturday. “The pistol of an Additional DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police) has been snatched. I was beaten badly while trying to protect madam,” one of the policemen tells the other, alleging that he was attacked with an iron rod, chain and keys.
The audio clip is part of the evidence being examined in a Delhi Police fact-finding inquiry ordered after an unprecedented protest by hundreds of policemen on Tuesday. During the protests, policemen accused their seniors of failing to protect them. Today, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik met with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla to discuss the incident.
The woman officer’s operator, a cop, is one of the two voices in the audio.
“My shoulder, wrist and thumb are broken. I have three stitches in the head,” the cop tells his colleague.
He was asked if “Madam”, an Indian Police Service Officer, was also hurt.
“She was been pushed. They misbehaved with her. Her shoulder and collar were dragged. All of those involved were men. She was very badly abused verbally. The High court opens on Sunday and listens to its lawyers. The police have been bashed up by the lawyers. Madam cried outside the court,” he replied.
Claiming he had suffered internal wounds, he complained that no action had been taken against the lawyers.
The woman officer has reportedly told her bosses she was groped and beaten. A loaded 9 mm pistol belonging to one of her subordinates is also reported missing.
But the officer reportedly told her colleagues that making a formal complaint “will not get her any results and she will end up making a fool of herself,” according to a senior officer.
The police said that charges involving the assault will be added to the First Information Report or FIR.
“We are recording everyone’s statement. We will incorporate statement of said officer in that (FIR) only. We will add required sections based on lady officer statement. Crime Branch is probing the case, analysing CCTV footage and recording statements,” police spokesperson Anil Mittal said.
Saturday’s violence started with a fight over a parking spot. Around 1:20 pm, a policeman confronted three lawyers who had allegedly parked wrongly, and asked them to remove their car. Around 30 policemen and lawyers were injured in the violence that followed.
NDTV has accessed security footage from various CCTVs that shows lawyers attacking policemen and trying to set fire to motorcycles. The policemen are seen sprinkling water to put out the fire.
The lawyers wanted the police to hand over the constable who had stopped their colleagues from parking their car.
“They (lawyers) were so agitated that the constable was asked to change from his uniform to civvies,” says an officer who was present there. After he changed out of his uniform, he was made to sit among convicts in lock-up for protection from a mob of lawyers.
There were 150 prisoners in court lock-up when the incident took place.
The police have registered five cases based on complaints from lawyers but one case for all 21 policemen injured in the clashes.
A case was also registered in an incident on Monday at another court in Saket, where a lawyer was seen in mobile phone footage punching and slapping a policeman on a motorbike. The case was filed only after hundreds of policemen protested a day later outside the Police Headquarters, demanding action and raging at their seniors for failing to protect them.
“It’s very sad Delhi Police is levelling all sorts of baseless allegations against lawyers. They are just blaming lawyers for all violence. If this lady officer was assaulted, they should show us footage, otherwise it’s just propaganda,” Manan Kumar Mishra, Chairman of Bar Council of India told NDTV.
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