Days after lawyers and police clashed at Tis Hazari court, a video emerged Thursday showing DCP (North) Monika Bhardwaj, along with senior police officers and personnel, being chased out of the premises by a group of advocates.
In the video, DCP Bhardwaj, with police personnel in tow, initially rushes towards the spot where the lawyers have gathered. The video then shows Bhardwaj, with two officers on either side providing her cover, being chased away by a large crowd. A man in the crowd attempts to hit the DCP but is intercepted by the officers.
#JUSTIN: A special investigation team of the crime branch, headed by @CPDelhi, has found another CCTV footage which shows @DcpNorthDelhi #MonikaBhardwaj pleading before the aggressive advocates at Tis Hazari court. #LawyersVsPolice. @IndianExpress, @ieDelhi pic.twitter.com/kBdZ9nfkBR
— Mahender Singh (@mahendermanral) November 8, 2019
Reacting to the video, Rekha Sharma, NCW chairperson, tweeted: “Seeing a video where lawyers are manhandling and misbehaving with a woman police officer… behaving like goons. I strongly condemn it. I’m going to take suo motu and will be writing to Bar Council and CP Delhi.”
A senior official said DCP Bhardwaj will record her statement before the SIT investigating the incident in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the SIT investigation showed that police personnel of the 3rd Battalion of the Delhi Armed Police, carrying self-loading rifles and MP5 sub-machine guns, had “cocked their weapons” minutes after two rounds were fired by an ASI.
— ANI (@ANI) November 7, 2019
The probe by the Crime Branch’s special investigation team, headed by Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, found that they were stopped by Additional DCP Harender Singh, who entered the lock-up after hearing the shots. The SIT has corroborated the sequence of events with the help of footage from a CCTV in the lock-up.
Sources in the SIT told The Indian Express that before Additional DCP Singh arrived at 3.13 pm, along with ACP Ram Mehar Singh, some lawyers had barged into the lock-up and got into a scuffle with policemen inside. They also assaulted Singh and officers accompanying him.
“CCTV footage shows that police personnel first used ‘pepper spray’ to disperse the crowd, and then the ASI fired two rounds. He trained his revolver on the gate from a height — one bullet hit a lawyer and the second hit the lower side of the grill,” police sources said.
Additional DCP Singh said, “On hearing the gunshots, I initially thought they must have fired tear gas. But the lawyers started screaming that shots were fired and fled. I entered the lock-up… I found some personnel standing near the gate; they were carrying their SLRs, MP5 sub-machine guns and glock pistols which they had ‘cocked’. They were ready for more firing… But I shouted and pushed them inside. I strictly told them no armed man would stand near the lock-up gate and only unarmed personnel would stand beside me to guard the lock-up.”
Sources said the SIT found that soon after the conversation between advocates and police personnel turned confrontational, the ACP (3rd Battalion), who joined his post last Thursday, and the in-charge of the lock-up, had left their offices.
“I did not find either officer in the lock-up. The policemen were so agitated… had I not gone inside and pacified them, they could have fired 10-20 more rounds,” said Singh, who later directed them to make a human chain and rescue 155 undertrial prisoners, including Unnao rape accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
Police chief Amulya Patnaik, meanwhile, met injured police personnel Thursday.
Following a Delhi High Court order, Special CP (Law & Order) North Sanjay Singh has been transferred to the licensing and transport department and Additional DCP (North) Harender Kumar Singh has been appointed DCP, Railways.