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Triggers behind Delhi’s Tis Hazari row: Parking, lock-up, gunshot

SIT records statements of 11 cops, six advocates assaulted at Tis Hazari, looks at CCTV footage to join the dots.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Updated: November 6, 2019 11:40:15 am
Delhi police protests, Tis hazari court violence, Lawyers-police clash at saket court, Delhi police, delhi news, Indian express Family members of Delhi Police protest at India Gate against lawyers on Tuesday. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

A special investigation team (SIT) of the crime branch, headed by Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, has recorded the statements of 11 policemen and six advocates injured in Saturday’s Tis Hazari clash to ascertain the sequence of events. The development comes days after Delhi High Court ordered a judicial enquiry into the incident.

“Twenty-one policemen and six advocates got MLC (medicolegal case) conducted. We have recorded statements of 11 policemen,” a senior police officer privy to the investigation said. On Tuesday afternoon, SIT member DCP Joy Tirkey had a meeting with DCP (North) Monika Bhardwaj, who was also present at Tis Hazari court Saturday.

The Indian Express accessed the statements of the policemen and CCTV footage from the jail lock-up to establish what transpired at the court complex.

According to an officer, at 1.53 pm, constable Pradeep Kumar, deployed outside the court lock-up, asked lawyer Sagar Sharma, who had parked his Jeep there, to remove the vehicle. Lalit Sharma, who was with Sagar, told The Indian Express: “Sagar, me and another friend came out of the Jeep to attend the hearing of our client. Kumar asked us to remove the vehicle and we told him our parking staff will remove it within five minutes. We asked him to take our phone, but he refused to allow us to go.”

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According to another officer, Kumar, in his statement, told police: “The conversation soon turned confrontational, and Sagar tried to beat me up. But he was overpowered by my colleagues, who took him inside the lock-up where our ACP (3rd Battalion) was present. ACP sahab came outside and sorted out the matter, and Sagar left the lock-up.” As per the officer, investigation has revealed that lawyers, however, started shouting and asking about the policeman who had taken Sagar inside the lock-up.

Also Read | Delhi Police protest: At India Gate, families of cops say time to keep them safe

Investigation has revealed that the in-charge of Tis Hazari court police post was told by ACP (3rd Battalion) to resolve the matter, following which the latter is believed to have left.

“Police personnel of the 3rd Battalion alleged in their statement that the SHO of the area concerned came to sort out the matter, but he was manhandled by lawyers. Later, Additional DCP (North) Harinder Singh reached the complex and entered from gate number 2 with a few personnel. Some lawyers started manhandling him and some others barged into the jail lock-up, where they had a scuffle with the policemen,” the officer said.

Delhi police protests, Tis hazari court violence, Lawyers-police clash at saket court, Delhi police, delhi news, Indian express Delhi police protest at PHQ in new Delhi on Tuesday. (Express photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

According to an officer, CCTV footage shows that an assistant sub-inspector posted with the 3rd Battalion fired two rounds by training his revolver on the gate of the lock-up, and a bullet hit a lawyer. “To escape, Harinder Singh went to the lock-up and locked himself and several other personnel inside. The firing agitated lawyers and they started pelting stones. They also set three motorbikes on fire and smoke started gathering inside the lock-up, which also had 150 inmates,” an officer said. Policemen tried to douse the fire using buckets of water inside, and were rescued at 5.25 pm when more police arrived and used lathi charge.

Also Read | Bar members seek restraint: Strike must end now

What cops want

-Police chief should appeal against HC order against policemen
-Special CP Sanjay Singh, Additional DCP (North) Harinder Singh be reassigned
-All FIRs registered against policemen be quashed
-CCTV footage of Saket court incident be used to identify and arrest accused lawyers
-Police redressal forum be made for low-ranking officials

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