The Bar Council of India (BCI) Wednesday said the protest by Delhi Police on Tuesday seemed "politically motivated" and termed it the "darkest day in the history of independence" while demanding that the guilty police officials be arrested within a week.
BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said in a press release that the council had earlier asked the Bar Association of Delhi to call off the ongoing strike but after seeing "Delhi Police's conduct", it cannot "sit tight over the matter".
The top bar body alleged that the policemen remained "absent from duty, shouted slogans, used filthy language" and threatened to "smash and kill lawyers" openly.
The BCI in its letter has also demanded constitution of a high-level committee to find out who were involved in "planning the illegal protest of police yesterday".
"Our demand is to arrest the guilty police officials within a period of one week, failing which we shall resort to peaceful dharna for the arrest of these people and for proper disciplinary action against them. The Bar stands united," said the BCI release.
It said the protests of Delhi Police were well-planned and the purpose was to threaten not only the lawyers, but also the government and the judiciary.
"The demands of the policemen that they shall withdraw from the security of the judges and even of the judicial officers is really very disturbing for a democratic country like India, that too other demand is to allow them to form their union.
"In a country like ours, there is no place or permission in law for any union of police or armed forces. Thus, yesterday's behaviour and conduct of the police is nothing but gross misconduct and dereliction of their duties," the release said.
It demanded strong disciplinary action be taken against those who indulged in "firing and attempting to kill a lawyer".
"The Bar and the people of this country demand stern and strong disciplinary action, the immediate suspension of those who participated in the dharna and the dismissal of those policemen who were active in shouting slogans, abusing and threatening the lawyers and judges," the BCI statement said.
Mr Mishra said that the Bar will continue to "protest peacefully" until police officials who were involved in the shooting incident of Saturday are arrested and the policemen involved in yesterday's "unruly" acts are suspended and proceeded against.
It asked the district bar association and coordination committee of Delhi Bar Associations to suspend the abstinence for 10 days and resume court work and if during this 10 day-period, policemen are not arrested, then the future course of action will be decided.
"In the meantime, we shall request the court not to allow the vindictive police to lodge any case against lawyers, because if it is allowed, they will resort to harassment of several innocent lawyers and their leaders in revengeful manner," the BCI said in its release.