Police, lawyers clash at Delhi's Tis Hazari Court

Police vehicles, parked within the premises were torched as the scuffle started on the issue of parking.

A clash broke out between lawyers and police personnel here on Saturday in Delhi's Tis Hazari court complex here resulting into injuries of several advocates and policemen.

A number of police vehicles, parked within the premises, were torched, following the scuffle on issue of parking. Plumes of smoke came out of the complex for more than two hours, as lawyers were seen damaging vehicles and assaulting the police personnel.

A huge posse police and anti-riot vehicles were deployed outside the complex and fire tenders were also rushed. The injured advocates were rushed to the St Stephen hospital, situated just adjacent to the court complex. Various lawyers bodies condemned the incident and Delhi district court lawyers gave a call to abstain from work on November 4.

“A police vehicle hit the car of a lawyer while he was coming to the court. When the lawyer confronted the police personnel, he was thrashed,” an office-bearer of Tis Hazari Bar Association said.

The Delhi police, for its part, claimed at least 20 police personnel, including one Additional DCP and two SHOs have sustained injuries in alleged "assault" by lawyers. They said the lawyers entered the police lock up and set it on fire. "In self defence, the police had to open the fire in air. The circumstances of gun shot injuries to a lawyer were being investigated," they added.

CCTV footages were being examined and an SIT of crime branch will investigate as complaints were received from both the sides, the police said.

Secretary of Tis Hazari Bar Association Jaiveer Singh Chauhan said that a lawyer's car allegedly hit a police jail van following which an argument broke out between him and the police.

"He was then taken inside a lockup and beaten up badly. The SHO came but was not allowed inside. The district judges of the central and west district, along with six other judges went there but were unable to let the lawyer out," Chauhan alleged.

He further claimed that after about 20 minutes, the police fired four rounds of bullets while the judges were leaving the spot.

Chauhan claimed that one of the lawyers, Ranjeet Singh Malik, who was protesting outside along with others, suffered a bullet injury.

A journalist from ANI also reported to have been beaten up while covering the scuffle.

Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra condemned “high-handedness of the police”. He demanded "arrest of the culprit personnel and put them under suspension failing which the situation will go beyond the control”. Asking the lawyers to maintain peace, the BCI decided to send a team to take stock of the situation.

“We strongly condemn brutal and unprovoked attack on lawyers by police at Tis Hazari Courts. One lawyers is critical. A young lawyer was beaten in lockup. We stand with Delhi lawyers,” K C Mittal, Chairman, Bar Council of Delhi said in a statement.

Chairman of Coordination Committee of Delhi District Court Bar Association, Mahavir Sharma gave the call to abstain from work in all district courts here on Monday “against the shooting by police on advocates in Tis Hazari”.

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