Under fire over violence in the Patiala House court complex, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi today denied that JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar was “beaten up” and defended the handling of the situation, saying use of “heavy force” against lawyers would have been counter-productive and inappropriate.
“I do not think he was beaten up. There was lot of jostling. We expected jostling and considering that he was escorted by a requisite number of police officers. He was taken care of by our officers.
“I do not think you can call the situation (in the court complex) today went out of hand,” he told reporters after the Delhi Police’s handling of the situation at the Patiala House court complex came under intense scrutiny from the Supreme Court in the wake of attack on Kumar and journalists by a group of lawyers.
He said the officers covered him physically and was protected from being assaulted. Scuffled took place on two occasions.
Replying to questions, he said use of force would have been counter-productive. “Lawyers are officers of the court. When we are dealing with officers..., unless..use of heavy force would have been inappropriate in this case.”
Bassi cited earlier instances of violence involving lawyers in Madras High Court, Allahabad High Court and elsewhere to buttress his point that lawyers are to be handled carefully.
“We have managed the situation. There was no breach of peace. We have followed norms of prudent policing,” Bassi said.
He said he had no idea as to what the Supreme Court-appointed lawyers have said in their report. “If they find me guilty, then I have a right to rebut.”
Referring to Monday’s violence in which a group of lawyers had attacked journalists, JNU students and teachers, Bassi said three lawyers including V K Chouhan and BJP MLA O P Sharma have been summoned for questioning.
He expressed hope that they will appear before the investigating officer and give their version of the events.