New Delhi: Mayhem erupted in New Delhi Patiala House court complex as 50-odd men in lawyers robes on Monday attacked journalists, students and teachers of JNU and unidentified people within and outside the court, dubbing them as “anti-nationals” in the wake of a raging row over the arrest of a student leader of the prestigious university.
A Delhi BJP MLA, Mr O.P. Sharma, who happened to be present in the complex, also joined the lawyers in beating up a person, later identified as CPI activist Ameeque Jamai, who was taken to the Tughlak Road police station.
The violent scuffle took place as JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, against whom a sedition case has been filed, was to be brought before metropolitan magistrate Lovleen for remand proceedings. Sensing more trouble, the police produced the student leader before the magistrate at the Vasant Kunj police station, where his custody was extended by two more days.
The lawyers, claiming to be “patriots”, first targeted JNU students and teachers inside the court, beating them up and saying JNU was a “den” of anti-India elements and terrorists. It all started with some men in black robes threatening journalists and a handful of students and teachers.
Lawyers hurled shoes at victims
Some men in black robes started asking journalists and a handful of students and teachers to leave the courtroom where Kanahiya Kumar was to be produced. When asked why they were being told to leave, the so-called “lawyers” became violent.
They not only used abusive language, but also started assaulting all the students, teachers and journalists present inside or outside the courtroom.
Some even hurled shoes at them. Even the mobile phones of some journalists were snatched. All this took place in the presence of a large police contingent deployed at the court complex.
The Centre later stepped in, and Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi promised action would be taken against those involved in the attack on media.
The escalating standoff over Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest also saw JNU students going on a day’s strike demanding his immediate release. A plea was also moved in the Delhi High Court seeking a NIA probe into the sedition case. The JNU sent a “status report” to the HRD ministry about the situation, and the action taken over the event organised against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Justifying the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, Delhi police commissioner B.S. Bassi claimed he raised anti-national slogans at the controversial event in the campus, but said the police had so far found “no evidence linking the LeT” to the event.
The escalating standoff over Kanahiya Kumar’s arrest on sedition charges saw the students going on strike till he is released. The JNU Teachers Union too has decided to stay away from classes.
The Delhi police commissioner said Kanhaiya Kumar had raised anti-national slogans at the JNU event, but admitted that the police had so far found “no evidence to link the LeT” to the event so far.