Kanhaiya Kumar incident: Situation at Patiala House handled tactfully, says police

New Delhi: The situation at Patiala House Court was handled very “tactfully” and in a “professional” manner when JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was produced in court, Delhi Police said in its report to NHRC.

Violence had broken out on the premises of Patiala House Court, when Kumar was produced, on February 15 and 17 in which group of men dressed as lawyers brazenly attacked Kumar, students and teachers of JNU, activists and media personnel. A BJP legislator also allegedly roughed up a political activist there.

The incidents had taken place amid high security and Delhi Police was severely criticised for alleged inaction, negligence and dereliction of duty.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had directed then Delhi Police chief B S Bassi to submit an urgent report in connection with the February 15 incident.

In the report submitted to NHRC, police said, “The allegations of inaction, dereliction of duty and negligence by police are denied. The situation at Patiala House Court was handled very tactfully and in a professional manner by the officers present there.”

The police also claimed that they “prevented escalation of violence between lawyers and other groups by separating them and closing the gates,” a source said.

Two cases were registered in connection with the February 15 incident, following which three lawyers and BJP MLA OP Sharma were arrested.

After the February 15 incident, NHRC had observed, “The teachers and the students of JNU and the journalists had a right to be present in the court and its premises. This right was denied to them by use of criminal force…Though the police had a duty to prevent such violation of human rights and commission of criminal offences, they allegedly remained mute spectators and facilitated violation of human rights.”

On February 17, when Kumar was taken to Patiala House Court on completion of his police custody, a similar incident occurred again in full police presence and two fresh cases were registered.

Kumar was arrested under the charge of sedition in connection with a controversial event in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Campus.