New Delhi: Several lawyers and police personnel were injured after clashes at Tis Hazari Court in Delhi on Saturday afternoon. An incident of firing was reported; a police vehicle was set on fire and eight others vandalised, said officials.
Eight bikes were also torched, they said, adding that the Fire Department dispatched 10 fire tenders to the spot.
The injured lawyers were taken to the St Stephen's Hospital. The wounded police personnel included Additional Commissioner of Police (North District) Harinder Kumar, Station House Officers (SHOs) of Kotwali and Civil Lines, and the operator of Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), police said.
A huge posse of police and anti-riot vehicles were deployed at the site after the violence as lawyers sat on a protest at the gate of the court premises, alleging that police personnel had opened fire and demanding action against those responsible.
Lawyers alleged that four of their colleagues were injured, including one in police firing, but the police denied that it had opened fire.
An office-bearer of the Tis Hazari Bar Association said a police vehicle hit a lawyer's vehicle when he was coming to the court. "When the lawyer confronted them, he was ridiculed and six police personnel carried him inside and thrashed him. People saw this and called the police," said Jai Biswal.
Biswal said the Station House Officer (SHO) and local police came to the spot but were not allowed to go inside. "We informed the High Court, a team was sent there along with six judges, but even they were not allowed to go in," he said. "When they started to leave, the cops fired bullets."
Tis Hazari Bar Association Secretary Jaiveer Singh Chauhan said the lawyer was taken inside a lockup and beaten up badly, adding that after about 20 minutes, the police fired four rounds of bullets while the judges were leaving the spot. He claimed that one of the lawyers, Ranjeet Singh Malik, who was protesting outside along with others, suffered a bullet injury.
The lawyer was released from the lockup after about half an hour, claimed Chauhan.
Eyewitnesses said an argument took place between some lawyers and police personnel reportedly over a parking issue, leading to the fracas.
Bar Council of Delhi Chairperson KC Mittal strongly condemned the "brutal, unprovoked attack on lawyers".
"A young lawyer was beaten in lock-up, which is police high-handedness," said Mittal. "They should be dismissed and prosecuted. We stand with the Delhi lawyers."
Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra visited the court complex along with party members and called for action against the personnel involved in the clash.
Mahavir Sharma, chairperson, and Dhir Singh Kasana of the Coordination Committee Secretary General said lawyers would abstain from work in all Delhi District Courts on Monday to register their protest against the police shooting.
Bar Council of India Chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra described it as "very brutal action of the Delhi Police".
"Simply because of some parking issue, the police started firing on innocent advocates. The Bar Council cannot tolerate this." he said. "We have demanded from the higher police officials and the government to immediately arrest the guilty policemen and put them under suspension, failing which the situation may go beyond the control of the government and the Bar Council."
Assam Bar Council member Khushboo Verma, who was visiting the court for work, alleged that she was attacked by policemen while protesting against the incident. "There were no women police personnel present," she claimed.
(With inputs from agencies)