“Humara CP (Commissioner of Police) kaisa ho, Kiran Bedi jaisa ho”, “Kiran Bedi sherni hamari” were among the slogans that the Delhi Police personnel raised during the protest on Tuesday outside the police headquarters in the national capital.
Kiran Bedi said in a statement on Wednesday “never drive men and women in uniform up the wall”, NDTV quoted.
“When policemen and women perform their duty fairly, firmly, fearlessly and responsibly, they need to be protected by their seniors,” Bedi said, according to the report.
The protest ended on Tuesday night post an 11-hour standoff after which senior officers assured the personnel that their concerns will be addressed. The protests had been triggered by two attacks on police personnel — on Monday and Saturday.
On Saturday, a parking dispute between an on-duty policeman and a lawyer led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured at the Tis Hazari court complex. On Monday, an on-duty policeman was thrashed by lawyers outside the Saket court and a video of the incident showed the lawyers beating up and slapping the policeman.
Bedi referred to an incident in 1988, saying, “such actions are the defining moments of police leadership... As mine did in Jan 1988. We then did not have video virals. Technology now speaks and provides evidence for and against. There are lessons to be learnt for all, from this incident yet again. Key is are we willing?” News18 quoted.
At the protest on Tuesday, some police personnel were also carrying placards with a photo of Bedi, which read “we need you”.
What happened in 1988?
In January 1988, the Delhi Police arrested an advocate named Rajesh Agnihotri for theft at St. Stephen’s College. When the advocate was produced before Tis Hazari Court on 16 January that year with his hands cuffed, lawyers protested and said it is illegal, according to PTI.
The Metropolitan Magistrate discharged the lawyer. The Commissioner of Police was directed to take action against the guilty police officials.
Bedi criticised the order of the Magistrate in discharging the lawyer. The next day when a group of lawyers sought to meet Bedi to express their concern at her office, a lathi-charge was ordered on them.
Bedi, according to The Telegraph, said that she was compelled to take action as they had forced their way into her office and roughed up some of the personnel.
The lawyers, from the lower courts to the Supreme Court, the report added, declared war on her and demanded her suspension.
For the next two months, the lawyers stopped courts from functioning in Delhi and neighbouring states, PTI reported.
The Delhi High Court constituted a two-judge committee headed by Justice D.P. Wadhwa to probe the matter. The committee found the handcuffing uncalled for, The Telegraph report added, and held her responsible for the lathicharge. Her transfer was also recommended.
(With PTI inputs)