NEW DELHI — The families of the Delhi Police personnel, who staged an unprecedented protest outside the police headquarters here on Tuesday, took out a march in solidarity with the protesters, before holding a candlelight vigil at India Gate.
Thousands of Delhi Police personnel laid siege outside the police headquarters for almost 11 hours and staged a virtual revolt, which was sparked by two recent attacks on their colleagues.
With teary eyes and a broken voice, Ritu Singh, wife of one of the protesters, said her husband had not attended a single parent-teacher meeting in their children’s school.
”(Delhi Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal went to see that lawyer in the hospital. Did he ever try to find out about the police personnel who were beaten up? We do not celebrate Diwali, Holi or any other festival together and in return, this is what we get,” she said.
Sandeep Singh Shah (33), who resigned as a Delhi Police sub-inspector around three years ago, said it was his idea to get the family members of the protesters to hold the candlelight vigil.
“I started this and asked the families of the protesting police personnel to gather at India Gate for a candlelight vigil. From India Gate, we will go to the police headquarters to support the agitators.
“There are a number of video clips against the lawyers, but no action has been taken against them. Only policemen are getting suspension orders. There should be some action against the lawyers, who took law in their own hands,” he said.
The unprecedented protest was triggered by two attacks on policemen, one on Monday and the other on Saturday, following a dispute over parking vehicles between an on-duty policeman and a lawyer at the Tis Hazari Court complex here, which resulted in injuries to at least 20 security personnel and several lawyers.
“I have never seen my father celebrating any festival with us. On every special occasion, he is out on duty, providing security to people. This brutality against police personnel is not acceptable. Today, it was my father’s colleague. Tomorrow, it could be my father,” a Class 9 student, who had come to take part in the candlelight vigil at India Gate, said.
Two FIRs were registered against unidentified persons, who were seen in a video clip physically assaulting a uniformed policeman on a motorcycle outside the Saket court.
Phuleram, a retired police officer, said his son was also in the Delhi Police.
“I have police personnel as well as lawyers in my family. We are not blaming every lawyer. It is a protest against goons wearing black coats. How can we call them lawyers, when they take law in their own hands by burning vehicles and thrashing policemen as well as common people,” he said.
Pratima Singh, wife of an inspector, said she was concerned about her husband’s security every time he was out on duty.
“Police officers are the only ones who get suspension orders. They do not have proper weapons and still perform their duties for long hours. They stand only with a baton for 24 to 48 hours. We are very much concerned about their safety. These days, nobody wants their kids to join the police force,” she said.
The protest was called off almost after 11 hours, following an assurance given by senior officers to the protesters that their grievances will be addressed.