Angry cops recall Kiran Bedi, boo out their bosses



With loud chants of "we want justice", and "hamara CP (Commissioner of Police) kaisa Ho, Kiran Bedi jaisa ho", protesting Delhi Police personnel on Tuesday drowned out seniors trying to placate them as they gathered to vent anger over their colleagues being thrashed by lawyers a day ago.

Hundreds of police personnel, including women in uniform and also in civvies, gathered outside the headquarters at ITO, completely covering the road, and blocking traffic at the busy intersection.

They were joined by police from neighbouring states, Haryana and Punjab, as well as retired police personnel - all venting anger over the thrashing meted out to the police personnel by some lawyers at the Saket and Tis Hazari courts following Saturday's violence between police and lawyers over an alleged parking row that led to injuries to both sides.

As soon as Devesh Srivastava, Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Range), began to address the protesting police personnel, he was booed, and shouted down, with cries of "Go back, go back".

Srivastava assured them that all their demands would be met and that FIRs have been registered in connection with the Saket and Tis Hazari Court incidents. He also promised that no departmental action would be initiated against those participating in the protests.

Appealing to the public for support, the Delhi Police banner outside the ITO police headquarters that would otherwise read: "With You For You Always" saw an added line, saying "But this time we need your help".

While outside, the road was full with angry policemen, inside the ITO HQ, things were relatively quiet.

The protesting police personnel demanded immediate recalling of the suspension order and were clearly angry with Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik who earlier requested the officials to call off their protest.

There were slogans against Patnaik too, "Police Commissioner Hai, Hai" (down, down).

The police officials also demanded setting up of a Police Union.

According to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources, the Delhi Police has submitted a report to the home ministry on the Tis Hazari incident of Saturday when clashes broke out between police and lawyers leaving several injured.

They raised demands for immediate recalling of suspension orders of the police officers.

The reason for the police remembering Kiran Bedi is rooted to a 1988 incident when she solidly backed her force against the lawyers.

In 1988, Kiran Bedi, then the deputy commissioner of police for north Delhi, had a face-off with lawyers who were protesting the handcuffing of an advocate on suspicion of theft.

On February 17, 1988, a violent mob of at least 3,000 people arrived at the Tis Hazari Court Complex, rioted, and damaged vehicles and the offices of lawyers. Lawyers alleged the violence had been engineered by Bedi in response to the lawyers' strike.IANS