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Kanhaiya refuses to blame cops or lawyers

Courts are on strike in Delhi and police officers laid siege to their headquarters after clashes with lawyers
CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar

Pheroze L. Vincent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 06.11.19, 08:57 PM

CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday blamed politics for the apparent collapse of law and order in Delhi where courts are on strike and police officers laid siege to their headquarters after clashes with lawyers.

As the president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union in 2016, Kanhaiya had been arrested on sedition charges that are yet to be admitted by a court. He had been thrashed by a group of lawyers in the presence of the police when he was produced in the Patiala House Courts.

Lawyers ran riot on the court premises, facing India Gate, for two days, assaulting students, teachers, journalists and activists who attempted to attend Kanhaiya’s hearing.

Kanhaiya tweeted in Hindi on Wednesday: “It is true that most of the policemen were watching the spectacle when some goons in the guise of lawyers attacked me and the media people on the court premises, but some policemen also risked their lives and saved me that day.

“Some people are wrong in every profession, but on the basis of their mistakes, the entire profession cannot be branded as criminals. It is true that some lawyers attacked me for provocative media and political gains, but this does not mean that all lawyers are criminals.

“What is (now) happening between the policemen and the lawyers in Delhi proves once again that law and order needs to be robust, else anyone’s number may come and anyone can lose their life to mob politics.

“What should have happened is that whoever broke the law, be it the police or the lawyers, action should’ve been taken against them immediately. But sadly the politics of our country does not allow the law to do its work without bias.

“Because of political calculations, neither the law minister nor the home minister has made any statement on this whole matter.”

Three lawyers identified from video footage of the 2016 rampage had been placed under arrest for a few hours, more than a week after the violence that took places in front of several senior IPS officers.

They were immediately granted bail, and the police filed a chargesheet against them after five months. No one has been convicted yet, and the Supreme Court dismissed a plea for a special investigation team and an additional case for contempt against the lawyers, saying: “We do not want to flog a dead horse….”

Kanhaiya said on Wednesday: “When I and some media persons were attacked by some lawyers on the court premises, the government rewarded the leader of the lawyers who attacked, and the chief of the police that allowed the attack to happen. That is why even today we are not against any profession, but in favour of justice.

“My personal experience says that politics protects criminals of every profession for their own benefit. Therefore speak against crime, not against any profession.”

Vikram Singh Chauhan, the lawyer who was seen leading the group of blackcoats who assaulted Kanhaiya, campaigned for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as well as the recent Haryana elections.

His Facebook profile is replete with pictures of him with Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, amongst others from the party.

Chauhan unsuccessfully contested last year’s Bar Council of Delhi polls.

Then police commissioner B.S. Bassi went on to become a member of the Union Public Service Commission after he retired shortly after the rampage at the Patiala House Courts.

Chauhan’s recent Facebook posts protest the police action against lawyers. On Wednesday, he posted a clip of the 1997 Hindi film Dhaal in which the villain’s lawyer — played by Danny Denzongpa, says: “Khaki vardi agar kanoon ka danda hai toh kala coat kanoon ka haath hai... aur hamesha danda haath ke giraft mein hota hai. (If the khaki uniform is the stick of the law, then a black coat is the hand of the law... and remember the stick is always controlled by the hand).”


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