There has been mayhem inside the Patiala House Court on Wednesday as lawyers owing allegiance to right-wing groups thrashed a Firstpost journalist, Tariq Anwar.
Anwar said, “Two groups of lawyers were chanting slogans. One anti-Kanhaiya lawyers began to thrash me. They were the people who were chanting Bharat Maata Ki Jai and Gaddaron Bharat Chhodo. Police was there. They were mercilessly beating a lawyer who was pro-Kanhaiya. I took a photograph. Lawyers then turned to me and snatched my phone, delete the phone and began to beat me. I pleaded to the police desperately that ‘please get me out of here. But they remained mute spectator.”
The journalist suffered bruises on his nose.
The NDTV journalist Sonal Mahrotra said that anti-Kanhaiya Kumar lawyers were using provocative slogans that ‘we can’t even pronounce on live TV.’
This came after the Supreme Court specifically laid down guidelines on the conduct inside the premises of the Patiala House Court for Wednesday.
The SC on Wednesday had restricted the number of people to be present inside the court premises.
Water cannons were brought to Patiala House Court to control the crowd while lawyers had a free run inside the premises.
There has been more police presence than what it was on Monday.
One of Kanhaiya supporters, Pramod, also the district leader of SFI, who came from Sonipat to extend his support to the arrested student union leader, said he too was beaten up by Vikram Chauhan.
Vikram Chauhan, whose photographs appeared with many top BJP leaders, has been accused of resorting to violence even today. Chauhan was seen on video on Monday mericilessly thrashing people outside the Patiala House Court.
Prashant Bhushan said that the pro-Hindutva lawyers were active even in the Supreme Court today.
He told NDTV, “This has become a very serious matter. This is being aided and abetted by central government and Delhi police. This is nothing short of fascism and it should alarm everyone in the country.”
Eminent lawyer Soli Sorabjee said,”I’m ashamed. They are goons. They have defied the guidelines of the Supreme Court. The Bar Council of India should take actions against them. I’ve never been so pained seeing such people in legal community.”
When pointed that the lawyers’ behaviour on Wednesday was unheard of, the BJP’s Nalin Kohli said, ‘not really. Lawyers also played crucial role in freedom struggle…But the violence must be condemned.”
Many journalists outside the court were asking questions if Delhi Police hade two sets of laws, one for opposition and one for anybody-related to BJP/Modi
There are also reports of stones being pelted at media OB vans from inside the premises of the court.
Some of the bricks landed at the News24 TV channel OB van.
This even after SC asked counsel to tell Delhi CP to take action against those indulging in violence irrespective of their profession, as reported by the PTI.
DNA journalist Azaan Javaid reported that Kanhaiya Kumar was abused, heckled and attacked by lawyers as he was produced inside the court.
The visuals of Kanhaiya being taken under police’s escort showed that the students’ union leader may have been attacked on his head as a policeman was seen massaging his head.
An eyewitness said, “The police did try to protect, but the lawyers acting as goons, beat Kanhaiya up. They were over hundred in numbers. The CCTV camera will confirm. They were saying, Kanhaiya ko goli maro, phaansi do.”
Kanhaiya has reported suffered severe internal injuries and a special team of doctors has been brought to the court premises, where he’s being attended to.
The court has asked the police come back with a detailed security plan before the JNU students’ union leader is allowed to leave the court premises.
The brazen lawyers then were heard shouting that they had the done the right thing and their ‘men in Tihar’ will ‘take care of him.’
Supreme Court has rushed a team of lawyers with police protection to take stock of the situation and how it was allowed to go out of control.
The lawyers who’ve been asked to go to Patiala House Court are Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave, Rajiv Dhavan,Harin Ravel, Ajit Sinha and ADN Rao.
The Supreme Court said that it will sit beyond its working hours because of the seriousness of the matter.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has asked the hearing of Kanhaiya Kumar to be adjourned asking the Patiala House Court premises to be evacuated.
Five lawyers representing Kanhaiya, said they were trapped inside Patiala House court fearing for their life if they came out.
Elsewhere, a journalist with India Today tweeted with extraordinary revelation on the ‘shamelessness’ of the attacker disguised as lawyer and the collusion of Delhi police.
Anusha Soni said that she saw a lawyer, who had attacked a woman journalist on 15 February, apologise to her on Wednesday (17 February)
Moments later, the journalist added, the lawyer informed a Delhi police personnel flaunting how he had beaten Kanhaiya prompting both of them to share huge laughter.
Lawyer who assaulted the woman journalist on Feb 15 comes brazenly to the journo nd apologises
— Anusha Soni (@AnushaSoni23) February 17, 2016
The same lawyer later comes panting and tells Delhi Police constable he assaulted kanhaiya…both share a laugh
— Anusha Soni (@AnushaSoni23) February 17, 2016
Delhi Police Commissioner, BS Bassi, said Kanhaiya was not beaten up.
“You see, my information is that there was some jostling. One had no option but wade through the crowd. While wading through the crowd, Kanhaiya lost his one slipper. When you are going through the jostling, you are pushed. Next time when we produce, we will employ different tactics.”
Bassi said that he had summoned three lawyers including Chauhan, who had been been asked to appear before investigating officer. He also added that the BJP MLA OP Sharma too had been summoned.
Bassi said that Kanhaiya was a youn student and should be given a chance adding that he was saying this without any pressure from PM Narendra Modi.
Kanhaiya, meanwhile, has been sent to jail for 14 days.