Delhi police face a virtual revolt, policemen take to the streets against attacks on colleagues
NEW DELHI: It faced a virtual revolt from its base on Tuesday when thousands of staff members besieged outside the police headquarters, rejecting their boss's pleas to return to work.
The unprecedented protests were triggered by two attacks against their colleagues, one on Monday and one on Saturday after a parking dispute between a police officer on duty and a lawyer who caused the injury of at least 20 security personnel and several defenders .
Two FIRs were registered against a lawyer, who was seen in a video hitting a uniformed policeman on a motorcycle with his elbow and slapping him outside the Saket district court.
Lawyers assault a policeman outside the # Delhi Saket court. https://t.co/UXDzQbpe57 - TOI Delhi (@TOIDelhi) 1572863394000
While shouting slogans like We want justice and Return, he returns while his senior officers called for calm, the growing crowd of protesters, some in uniform and others in civilian, gathered outside the police headquarters at ITO in the morning and were relentless in their demand as the hours passed.
At night, many of their relatives began to move towards the India Gate in an effort to spread agitation.
Delhi: family members of the Delhi police staff protesting against the clash that broke out between the police and the lawyer ... https://t.co/k32HH6Ys5N - ANI (@ANI) 1572956674000
Delhi police officers are on call 24 hours a day so that people can celebrate each festival without fear. But while they make those sacrifices, they hit them on the roads. Do we have no feelings or no rights? asked Munesh Dahiya, the wife of a police officer.
In front of the angry crowds wearing black bands, police commissioner Amulya Patnaik left her 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 respect the law, it is our great responsibility. I urge you to resume duty, Patnaik told police personnel.
The last days have been testing us. A judicial investigation is underway and I ask you to have faith in the process, he told the meeting.
He later told reporters that efforts were being made to pacify law enforcement officers and that senior police officers were trying to solve the problems.
First we have to save the honor of our khakhi. Only then will we show up for the service, said a policeman.
Delhi police have a force of more than 80,000 people.
Holding banners with slogans such as We are human with police uniforms, We are not taking out punching bags and Protectors need protection, the police and women police urged their superiors to join them to save the honor of the uniform.
No police officer or politician went to the hospital to see our injured colleagues. It is disappointing and demoralizing for us, a police woman said on condition of anonymity.
Recalling a similar clash between lawyers and police in 1988, many in the crowd remembered former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who was at the center of the controversy.
Some carried a large poster of former IPS officer Kiran Bedi and now Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry, singing slogans like Kiran Bedi sherni hamari and Our commissioner should be like Kiran Bedi.
Even after Patnaik addressed the protesters, they refused to disperse and demanded that an association be formed for them.
The leaders of the amorphous protest movement urged their colleagues in other states to join them.
We are the ones who face the worst part. We are beaten and we want there to be an association to investigate our problems and address the problems we face with the high command, said a protester who did not want to be named.
Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal went to meet with injured lawyers, but he did not meet with our policemen who were also injured in the incident. It is not unfair to us, added another.
The protest caused traffic entanglements at several intersections that lead to ITO.
The Delhi traffic police turned to Twitter to issue traffic notices.
Traffic movement is closed on the road from ITO to Laxmi Nagar. Motorists are recommended to use Delhi Gate and Raj Ghat.
The immediate provocation for the protest was the incident at the Saket Court.
The Minister of the Union, Kiren Rijiju, shared the video of the Saket incident on Twitter saying: Let's not take the law into our hands. It is not about supporting any group.
The crash on Saturday also led to many vehicles being destroyed or burned, according to authorities.
The incidents provoked strong criticism from senior police officials who went to Twitter to register their discontent.
I'm sorry ... we are police ... we don't exist ... we don't have families ... we don't have human rights !!! said former Delhi Police PRO Madhur Verma, currently published as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Arunachal Pradesh.
I'm sorry ... we are police ... we don't exist ... we don't have families ... we don't have human rights !!! https://t.co/ZqR7dEUFgy - Madhur Verma (@IPSMadhurVerma) 1572882619000
The IPS Association also condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with its colleagues subjected to humiliation and assault.
Unfortunate incident between police and lawyers. Everyone should have a balanced view of them based on facts in the public domain. Across the country, the police sympathize with police personnel subjected to physical aggression and humiliation. Condemn all attempts to break the law by anyone! , tweeted the association from its official name.
Incident with unfortunate police and lawyers. Everyone should have a balanced view based on facts in public to do ... https://t.co/jLJYLT8WYB - IPS Association (@IPS_Association) 1572880861000
The former chief spokesman for the Delhi police, Deependra Pathak, said: Lumpen's elements in the Black Coat outfit are in a total uproar that endangers the social order in Delhi. Fear of the law must be instilled among these pranksters. @ DelhiPolice needs to bring pending police Lawyer clash cases.