He added, “There have been challenges for Delhi Police and we always handle different types of situations. We should keep the law and order in place. I am confident that we will handle this situation well.” This, however, did not placate the protesting cops as they refused to rejoin work.
Earlier, a protesting woman constable said: “People don’t realise the kind of danger we are put through every day. If we can't save ourselves, then how will we fulfill our responsibility of protecting others? We are human beings too and we must be treated with respect.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal assured the protesting policemen that their concerns would be addressed. "Your concerns and anger have been conveyed to senior officials and I want to assure you that your protest here will not go unsuccessful," Singhal said.
In a video of the incident that triggered the protests and has now gone viral, a policeman riding a bike is seen being confronted by a small group of protesting lawyers, one of whom hits him with his elbow and flings a helmet on him as he rides past.
Cops protesting outside the Police Headquarters in New Delhi
A political slugfest erupted over the protests with Congress' Randeep Surjewala dubbing it as a "new low" in the country's history and questioned Union Home Minister Amit Shah's silence on the matter. "A new low in 72 years - Police on protest in ‘National Capital of Delhi’.Is this BJP’s ‘New India’? Where will BJP take the country? Where is India’s HM, Sh. Amit Shah?" he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Kiren Rijiju, a junior minister in Modi's cabinet extended his support to the protesting policemen, saying that being a cop is a "thankless job" that often goes underappreciated. However, he later deleted his tweet.
"Being a cop is a thankless job. But they don’t do it for thanks. Police officers put their lives on the line every day. They are damned if they do, and damned even if they don’t. What gets lost in all the anti-police rhetoric is the family left at home while a policeman serves," he said. In a separate tweet, Rijiju urged everyone to not take law into their hands but "let law take it's own course!"
Cops gathered outside the police headquarters carried banners with slogans and messages against the attack
Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers took to Twitter to express their dismay and anger following the incident.
Sharing a video of the Tis Hazari incident where a policeman is seen being dragged and beaten by over 50 lawyers in the court premises, senior IPS officer Aslam Khan posted on Twitter, "Any opinion? This was starting point of tussle what I could guess. For how long police will be at receiving end just because they have no support and leadership."
Abhinav Kumar who is posted in Jammu & Kashmir, wrote on Twitter, "As a proud policeman serving in Kashmir, recent HC order in the clash of lawyers & police is demoralizing for police all over India. Lawless acts by lawyers are also clearly available in the public domain. Delhi HC, please take action on them too." He tagged Delhi Police and the IPS Association.
Another IPS officer Sanjukta Parashar concurred, "This video is very disturbing on all levels. The protests after this are bizaree. We, of course, must maintain impartiality and equanimity. But can we call a spade a spade please. Its high time."
Renuka Mishra, another senior IPS officer posted, "Precisely. Nobody can be above the law.
"It is sad that police officers doing their duty are being prejudged without an opportunity to defend themselves. Karo, tab bhi maro? We have seen CCTV footage too. What excuse do the lawyers have for breaking the law."
Advocates in the Delhi High Court and all district courts here on Monday abstained from judicial work protesting against the clash between lawyers and police in the Tis Hazari court complex on Saturday.
The lawyers are not participating and appearing in proceedings and only proxy counsel are taking dates. Advocate Naginder Benipal, executive member of the Delhi High Court Bar Association, said lawyers have supported and cooperated with the call to abstain from work in the high court.
On Saturday, violence erupted at Tis Hazari courts in North Delhi between police and lawyers following a parking row in which 21 police personnel and eight lawyers were injured. As many as 14 motorcycles, one police car, were burnt and eight prison vans were damaged.
In a special hearing on Sunday, the Delhi High Court ordered a judicial inquiry by a retired High Court judge into the clash and directed that "no coercive action should be taken against any lawyer on the basis of the FIRs lodged at the behest of police officials".