Dozens of police personnel marched to the Delhi police headquarters on Tuesday morning to protest their leadership’s handling of recent instances of policemen being assaulted during clashes with lawyers since Saturday.
The protest by police personnel is a rare sight, driven by what they said was the need to remind their senior officers to stand united and deal with the assault against the men in Khaki.
They didn’t raise slogans, create any mess or make any demands but wore black bands on their arms and hoped to get the message across. Some of them did carry placards that asked for justice and underscored their low morale.
“How is the Josh? Low, Sir”, one placard read, inspired by the dialogue in the movie, Surgical Strike, that was also invoked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stress the high morale among security personnel and the public after the 2016 strike on terror pads in Pakistan.
No senior Delhi Police officer has issued a statement on the protest by their juniors.
There were many incidents of policemen being allegedly beaten up by lawyers on Monday, the first day of lawyers’ strike over their clash with the police. A video showed a constable in uniform being repeatedly slapped and elbowed by lawyers outside the Saket court. All that the policeman could do was escape on his motorcycle.
The lawyers on Monday had also allegedly attacked many others as well, including journalists, litigants, drivers. The police chose to watch from a safe distance. At Tis Hazari court, some policemen kept themselves locked in the court’s lock-up.
Policemen attending the protest said that they expected their seniors to stand by them in these times. “ Hardly any senior officer even visited our colleagues injured in the clash with lawyers,” said a policeman, refusing to identify himself.
Aslam Khan, an IPS officer who has served in the national capital in the past, took to Twitter to question the Delhi Police’s response to the assaults on policemen. “Khaki going down to the worse,” she tweeted while sharing the video of a policeman getting beaten up.
Neeraj Kumar, the former police commissioner, said the video of the policeman being beaten up gave the impression that “there is no rule of law and the police are people meant to be beaten up”.