One of the three lawyers who allegedly assaulted journalists, Jawaharlal Nehru University teachers and students at the Patiala House court last week was arrested on Tuesday.
Yashpal Singh’s arrest came a day after a television channel aired a sting operation done on Singh and Vikram Chauhan in which they claimed they thrashed JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar.
Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12 after a rally at Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University called to mark the 2013 hanging of Kashmiri separatist Mohammed Afzal Guru over a deadly 2001 attack on Parliament.
On Tuesday, Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi asserted coercive action would be taken against them. The lawyers had failed to present themselves before the police despite being summoned. “We have the option of taking coercive action against them. We will go with the law and arrest them if it demands so,” Bassi said in an interview to a news channel.
The police had issued summons to Chauhan, Singh and Om Sharma to join investigations, following which Sharma presented himself before them and was arrested. But the other two were yet to appear.
In the sting operation, they were seen saying there were plans to assault Kanhaiya again in prison. One of them said they spared Kanhaiya only after making him shout a slogan praising India.
One of the lawyers was seen saying he would not sign a bail bond only to land in jail so he could beat up Kanhaiya again inside the jail. He said they had full support of the police during the scuffle at the court premises.
Hundreds of lawyers had marched in New Delhi on Friday, demanding action against certain JNU students whom they dubbed “anti-national”.
Led by Chauhan and Singh, the protesting lawyers raised slogans like “do not spare traitors” and “Vande Mataram”.
They defended outbreaks of violence at court hearings last week that saw lawyers attack 32-year-old Kumar as he entered the court and stones thrown at journalists covering the case.
(With inputs from agencies)