Dozens of black gowned lawyers taking on a handful of policemen, raining blows and then vandalising furniture -- video footage from Delhi's Tis Hazari court revealed an image of a mob gone berserk. Saturday's violence at the court was followed by another instance of lawyers attacking a police officer -- this time outside another court in Delhi. Together, they had been the trigger for an unprecedented 11-hour protest by the Delhi Police on Tuesday.
Saturday's violence at the Tis Hazari Court had started over parking slots -- when the police had objected to a lawyer wrongly parking his vehicle, blocking the way to the lock-up.
By the time it was over, more than 20 policemen and eight lawyers were injured. Twelve motorcycles, eight prison vans and a police vehicle were torched.
Video footage of the clash showed a huge group of lawyers raining blows on a few policemen. A policeman got hurled against a wall. A huge mob caught hold of two others and state punching them. By the time the mob moved away, an officer was seen stretched out on the floor.
The lawyers have claimed that the police opened fire on them.
Tuesday's protest was resolved late in the evening, after senior police officers, following instructions from Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, assured action.
The protesting policemen demanded justice and protection from assaults. What upset them was the lack of response from the government or their seniors about the attacks. Others said they feared being targeted when they went to work in their uniforms.
In both instances, the assailants had gone unpunished. On Monday, the Delhi High Court had taken up the issue on its own and transferred two officers and suspended two others over Saturday's clash.
The court had also ordered a judicial probe and said no coercive action could be taken against the advocates.
The police on Tuesday said cases have been filed for the instances of violence at the Tis Hazari and the Saket courts. A petition will also be filed in the High Court asking it to review yesterday's order of suspension and transfers of the four police officers.