More security forces were deployed at Patiala House on Wednesday after a journalist was beaten up by a group of lawyers despite the Supreme Court issuing guidelines to restrict entry into the courtroom.
The showdown took place in the court premises before JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar was to be presented in a court for hearing of the sedition case registered against him. Kumar’s police custody ends on Wednesday.
More security forces have been deployed at Patiala House Court premises. pic.twitter.com/ZzW99MkgFu— ANI (@ANI_news) February 17, 2016
Vikram Chauhan, a lawyer who was seen attacking journalists on Monday, on Wednesday climbed the barricades of the courtroom.
People who said "Pakistan Zindabad" have been made heroes & we are being called "gundas": Vikram Chauhan pic.twitter.com/lwjcSzuCT2— ANI (@ANI_news) February 17, 2016
Sources told HT that police have been instructed to lathi charge if required.
A section of lawyers carrying Indian flags shouted slogans like ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ and ‘JNU murdabad’. They also shouted slogans against the JNU and demanded shutting down of the premier educational institution, terming it “anti-national”.
On the other hand, a group of lawyers protesting against Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest demanded his immediate release.
Lawyer Rajeev Tadac and his colleagues shouted Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai while Prashant Bhushan was arguing on behalf of journalists and students thrashed by leaders linked to the BJP outside Patiala House court two days ago.
“You should maintain some degree of moderation. This extreme stance will not help anyone,” the judges told the lawyer.
Tadac apologised in court after being reprimanded by a judge but told journalists outside he was moved by ‘patriotic feelings’.
“No I am not ashamed,” he said.
The Supreme Court ordered the city police commissioner to ensure security to the accused and limited the number of journalists who could be present inside the court room to five.
“No other advocates other than that of accused & prosecution will be present during proceedings in court room,” the judges said. Only 25 reporters can stand outside.
The court also ordered the high court administrative office to meet and look over the issue. Six lawyers each from the prosecution and defence will be allowed. Two family members – or a friend and a JNU faculty member – along with five police officers will be present.
On Monday, a group of lawyers and others – including Delhi BJP legislator OP Sharma – beat up reporters and students, calling them anti-national and shouting ‘patriotic’ slogans.
JNU student union president Kumar is facing charges of sedition for allegedly organising an event on February 9 to commemorate 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where anti-national slogans were chanted.