The Delhi Police Tuesday arrested another lawyer in connection with the assault by a group of lawyers on journalists and JNU students at the Patiala House Courts complex last week.
Yashpal Singh was arrested in two separate cases — for allegedly thrashing journalists and students on February 15 and allegedly thrashing a Sonipat — based advocate on February 17. He was released on bail a few hours later from Tilak Marg police station.
Sources told The Indian Express that Singh was also questioned on allegedly beating up JNU students’ union President Kanhaiya Kumar as was revealed in an India Today sting operation.
Singh, along with another lawyer Vikram Singh Chauhan, had admitted to beating up Kumar for around three hours while he was in police custody.
“As police do not have any direct evidence against Singh, they decided to question him on the sting operation. Singh said a woman journalist of India Today gave him a drink laced with sedatives. After police questioned him for three hours, he was released on bail in the February 17 case,” said the sources.
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According to police, Singh was booked in the first case under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (causing hurt) and 427 (causing damage to property) of the IPC. “On February 17, another case was registered against him under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC,” said an officer.
Sources said Singh also rejected allegations of beating up journalists. “He claimed to have rescued all the journalists when they were allegedly being beaten up by the students. Just like his arrested associate, Om Sharma, he also told police that he had come to see Kumar being produced in court,” said the sources.
“Singh was arrested at 6.45 pm in the first case but released on bail within an hour. At 8 pm, he joined the probe in the second case. He was again arrested at 9.30 pm but released on bail at 10.30 pm. He was again questioned on the sting operation and was released due to lack of evidence,” added the sources.
His arrest in the first case was made after two Delhi Police personnel and Manu Shankar, a reporter with Malayalam news channel Kairali TV, had identified him. In the second case, he was identified by Rajiv Verma, the lawyer he allegedly assaulted.
Chauhan, who allegedly led the attacks, is yet to respond to notices asking him to join the probe.