Five incidents of violence between lawyers and police in India
Lawyers and cops clashes in Delhi on Saturday brought back memories of several ugly confrontations between the two side in the past.Updated: Nov 06, 2019 13:34 IST
The lawyers-cops fistfight in Delhi that injured 21 policemen and eight attorneys has led to protests from both the sides with each blaming the other for Saturday’s unruly and violent run-in. The clash of the two important arms of the justice delivery system has once again revealed the fault lines that lie beneath. Here are five similar instances from the past when the police and the lawyers decided to take the law into their own hands.
February, 2009- Chennai
The trouble started after a group of lawyers were arrested by the police for allegedly attacking the then Janata party chief Subramanian Swamy in the Madras High court. Lawyers marched in protest during which police were pelted with stones. Cops retaliated by lathi charging the men in black coats. The incident soon spiraled out of control with a police station set ablaze and a judge of the Madras High Court getting injured among several others.
January, 1988- Delhi
The showdown started with the arrest of a man from the woman’s washroom in St. Stephens College on a complaint of theft. While he was being produced in court, the lawyers claimed he was one of them and protested against his arrest. Lawyers’ violent protests in front of the office of then DCP (north) Kiran Bedi led to a lathi charge by the cops. The clashes continued for several months, however, Bedi didn’t give into their demand to act against the policemen. On Tuesday, protesting cops were seen with a placard carrying Kiran Bedi’s photograph and a message, “we need you”.
September 1998- Delhi
Violence also erupted in Delhi in September 1998 when the police arrested a lawyer, who was trying to resolve an ownership dispute over an educational institution. The lawyers thrashed the policemen escorting their arrested colleague and suspended work in several trial courts in the capital. The situation was finally resolved through mutual agreement.
March 2015- Allahabad
Police opened fire at an undertrial, who was trying to escape from the Allahabad district court; the bullet hit a lawyer instead, killing him. The incident led to the lawyers hurling stones at the police.
January 2019- Lucknow
A group of lawyers led violent protests demanding the arrest of a lady sub-inspector, who they claimed had misbehaved with two lawyers while detaining them for drunk driving on the Lucknow-Faizabad National Highway. The violence led to injuries to at least 50 persons.