The national capital is witnessing today a commotion of policemen who have chosen to ignore the appeal of Commissioner Amulya Patnaik issued from the Delhi Police Headquarters. After hours of demonstrations by the cops, Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik appeared in the afternoon and appealed to the policemen to return to work, but they instead raised slogans naming India’s first woman IPS officer and current Lt Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi: “Police commissioner kaisa ho? Kiran Bedi jaisa ho! (How should a commissioner of police be? Like Kiran Bedi)”
Patnaik said without mentioning the Tis Hazari Court, “In the last few days, there have been certain incidents in the capital which we handled very well. The situation is improving after that.”
On hearing this, the policemen raised their voices, sloganeering all the time. The police commissioner had to stop his address for a few seconds. The policemen said that they wanted a strong officer like Kiran Bedi, “who can understand and articulate our issues better” to lead them.
Patnaik said, “I appeal to all to maintain peace. It’s a trying time for us. We need to fulfil the responsibility of maintaining and assuring law and order. It is expected from us that we the protectors of law will continue to assure law and order in the capital.”
On 4 November, a lawyer manhandled a police constable outside the Saket Court. The video of the incident went viral, evoking strong responses from current and former police officers. The IPS Association condemned the development and said on Twitter: “Incident involving police & lawyers unfortunate. All should take a balanced view of it based on facts in (the) public domain. Countrywide, police stands (sic) in solidarity with those police personnel subjected to physical assault & humiliation. Condemn all attempts to break law, by anyone!”
The police are resenting the fact that action was taken against their colleagues before the completion of the inquiry into the incident of violence outside the Tis Hazari Court whereas no action was taken against the lawyers who had not only assaulted the cops on the premises but also set police vehicles on fire.
Meanwhile, Home Ministry sources said that Delhi Police had submitted the full report of the violence in Tis Hazari Court on 2 November to MHA and that the Ministry of Home Affairs was keeping an eye on the situation. Delhi policemen have requested the PMO, too, to intervene and the Ministry of Home Affairs to take the matter seriously.
Appealing to the policemen, Patnaik said that the government and the public expected a lot from the department because “we are the keepers of the law”. He said, so far, the policemen were maintaining law and order, and urged them to keep it that way.
The investigation team has been formed on the orders of the court. “We should trust it and wait for their decision,” the commissioner of police said.
Patnaik further said, “Our officers have done their duty with full responsibility on what happened on Saturday. I request you to go back to your duty. You should know that many of our jawans are on duty even in this situation. Delhi Police is considered one of the best police forces across the country. We will try our best to remove the apprehensions in your mind.” However, the commotion did not stop after the police commissioner’s appeal. Policemen are shouting slogans of ‘We want justice’ vigorously.
Meanwhile, lawyers in Delhi are on strike, too, and now the Bar Council has warned them. The Bar Council of India has warned the lawyers. If any lawyer is found involved in violent incidents or sabotage, strict action will be taken against him, the bar warned. The council has called for the names of the lawyers involved in the violence and asked them to withdraw the strike today. The council said that if that did not happen, it would separate itself from the case and will not be part of any investigation.