The Bar Council of India on Wednesday said that the protest by Delhi Police was the "darkest day in the history of independence". It termed the protests as "politically motivated" and the asserted that the guilty police officials should be arrested within a week. The protests were triggered by two attacks on their colleagues, one on Monday outside Saket District Court and another before that, on Saturday, at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex after a parking dispute between an on-duty policeman and a lawyer, which led to at least 20 security personnel and several advocates being injured.
As lawyers demonstrated outside the district courts across the national capital, Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said on Wednesday that no incident of violence involving lawyers, the police and the public will be tolerated and action will be taken against the guilty.
BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said in a press release that earlier the BCI had asked the Bar Association of Delhi to call off their ongoing strike but after seeing "Delhi Police's conduct", it cannot "sit tight over the matter". The apex 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, falling 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 release.
He also accused policemen of making provocative statements against judges and lawyers during their protests outside the police headquarters on Tuesday.
Two FIRs were registered against unidentified persons, who were seen in a video hitting a uniformed policeman on a motorcycle with his elbow and slapping him outside the Saket court.
"Despite the matter being sub judice before the Delhi High Court, police have lodged two FIRs yesterday against the lawyers. They (police) are also before the high court and they could tell the court whatever they wanted to say."
"This lodging of FIR cannot be justified. If they are not happy with the high court order passed on Sunday then they can file the review petition or seek recall of the order," Mishra said.
The BCI Chairman also condemned targeting of media personnel covering the incident and said "targeting the media which is one of the strongest pillars of democracy is not justified".
He demanded that the policeman who had allegedly fired at a lawyer on his chest should be arrested as early as possible.
Mishra refused to term as strike the absenteeism at work by lawyers and said it is a peaceful protest and once the policeman who had fired at the lawyer is arrested, the advocates will join judicial work.