IMAGE: Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik meets a constable injured in the Tis Hazari clash in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: ANI
A woman officer was allegedly harassed during the Tis Hazari court complex clashes and a loaded pistol of a woman constable has been missing since the violence last week, sources said on Thursday.
Police are probing both the cases and efforts are on to trace the missing 9mm pistol, they said
In the Saturday clashes, at least 20 police personnel and several lawyers were injured.
CCTV camera footage is being examined and appropriate legal action will be taken in the woman officer’s case, the sources said.
In one of the many videos that surfaced following the incident, lawyers are seen purportedly harassing the woman officer, who is flanked by other police personnel and trying to control a group of lawyers.
Later, she can be seen running, with some lawyers trying to catch hold of her while some policemen try to shield her.
The sources said the 9mm pistol went missing after the clash. FIR has been registered in the case, they said.
The Crime Branch’s Special Investigation Team, which is probing the Tis Hazari clashes, is in the process of recording the statements of all the officers who were part of controlling the crowd on Saturday, according to a senior police official.
In another video, lawyers can be seen barging inside the administrative area of the court and assaulting policemen.
A group of lawyers can be seen in another CCTV grab trying to set a vehicle ablaze while police personnel are throwing water to disperse them even as a man suspected to be from the legal fraternity can be seen threatening police personnel by brandishing a metal chain.
The same person in another video is seen allegedly threatening the policeman who was apparently recording the video of one of the incidents.
In the third video, some lawyers can be seen trying to break open the lock-up inside the court complex after the policemen took one of the advocates inside the lockup following the tiff.
The SIT is examining all the CCTV camera footage as part of the FIR registered following the violence and appropriate legal action will be taken in the matter after a thorough investigation, the senior officer said.
Meanwhile, two IPS officers have been transferred on the Delhi high court’s direction in the aftermath of the clashes, officials said on Thursday.
The court had issued the directions to the Delhi Police commissioner to transfer the officers.
Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) North Sanjay Singh has been transferred to the licensing and transport department and Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Harender Kumar Singh has been appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police, Railways, they said.
The Delhi high court on Sunday took cognisance of media reports on the incident.
The court had directed the commissioner to transfer Sanjay Singh and Harender Kumar Singh during the pendency of the inquiry and made it clear that no coercive action would be taken against any lawyer.
Dinesh Kumar Gupta, who was holding the charge of Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways), will take charge as the additional DCP (North).
HC directed meeting of lawyers, police cancelled
The coordination committee of All District Courts Associations Thursday said the meeting, which was to be held on the directions of the Delhi HC after the lawyers-police clash, was cancelled as senior police officers were not present.
However, police said the meeting was about the discussion on ‘administrative issues of the north district courts’ only, but lawyers wanted to discuss the situation in all the courts in the national capital.
“Meeting with police cancelled by coordination committee as senior police officers were not in the meeting. Only the Joint Commissioner of Police, Rajesh Khurana, was there. We want seniors to be there. All were there from the coordination committee. So we walked out from there without having any discussion,” said Dhir Singh Kasana, secretary of All District Courts Bar Associations.
The high court had Wednesday expressed anguish over the ‘dissonance and friction’ prevailing between the bar and the police — which represent and constitute ‘the preserver and the protector of the rule of law’ and suggested a meeting between ‘responsible representatives’ of both sides to ‘sort out their differences amicably, on the basis of discussion and deliberations’.
Police said the lawyers wanted to discuss issues in the courts across the national capital, not the ‘administrative issues of the north districts courts’.
The Coordination Committee of the Districts Bar Associations turned up under the impression that they will meet senior officials of the Delhi Police to discuss the situation prevailing in the city, police said.
But it was clarified to them that issues pertaining only to north district courts are to be discussed in order to resume the normal functioning at Tis Hazari, they said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Central Range) Rajesh Khurana called a meeting Thursday evening at the Delhi Police officers’ mess in Civil Lines in New Delhi to discuss the administrative issues of Tis Hazari Court complex with representatives from the Bar Association, police said.
A separate meeting will be held at a higher level to suitably address the larger issues, a senior police officer said.
Kasana said the strike would continue for the fifth day on Friday but litigants will have full access to courts.
“Abstinence from work in all Delhi District Courts will continue tomorrow. In order to ensure success of the movement, all are requested to maintain the movement peacefully. Litigants be permitted to have access to the court rooms,” he said.
Sengar was in Tis Hazari lock-up when police-lawyers clash broke out
Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused in the Unnao rape case, was lodged in the lock-up at the Tis Hazari court complex when the clash between lawyers and police personnel broke out last week, officials said.
Besides Sengar, there were 154 undertrials in the lock-up, they said.
According to a senior police officer, two high-risk undertrials — Feroz and Javed — were among those in the lock-up.
Sengar was brought from Tihar Jail, where he is currently lodged, to the lock-up in the court premises on Saturday morning and then produced before the district judge around 10.30 am for a hearing in the case, said a lawyer.
“There was fire in front of the lock-up gate and due to smoke, police personnel and undertial prisoners started to suffocate. The personnel, along with sewadars, threw water on the fire and doused it before it could turn into a big tragedy,” the police officer said.
Sewadars are the inmates who are lodged in jail for crimes that are not heinous. They accompany undertrial prisoners to courts to serve them jail food.
Sengar had appeared in the courtroom of District Judge Dharmesh Sharma. He was taken out around 7 pm when paramilitary forces arrived, the lawyer said.
He returned to the jail premises around 8 pm, he said.
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