NEW DELHI – Thousands of New Delhi police protested on Tuesday to demand protection of officers on duty after a dispute with lawyers over a parking spot at a court escalated into a violent confrontation that left several injured.
The unprecedented demonstration took place at the police headquarters in the Indian capital, where a crowd of officers gathered calling for measures to curb attacks against them.
The march began in the early hours of the morning when dozens of police showed up at the doors of the building and were joined by thousands more throughout the day, filling the streets and surrounding area.
Tensions between police and lawyers broke out on Saturday after a group of legal professionals assaulted an officer, giving rise to a confrontation that left dozens injured.
The clash broke out after an officer prevented a lawyer from parking in a space at the courthouse, claiming that it blocked access for other vehicles, according to the police.
Lawyers have accused an officer of opening fire during the confrontation and injuring someone.
An emergency judicial hearing was held the same day, and several of the police involved were sanctioned.
A day later, a group of lawyers hit and slapped another officer in a parking lot.
A video of this attack, which went viral on social media, further outraged the capital’s police force.
The Indian Police Service Association tweeted: “Incident involving police & lawyers unfortunate.
“All should take a balanced view of it based on facts in public domain.
“Countrywide, police stands in solidarity with those police personnel subjected to physical assault & humiliation. Condemn all attempts to break law, by anyone.”
The lawyers’ union has called for authorities to sanction the officer who reportedly opened fire during the demonstration.
Ramesh Gupta, of the Bar Council of Delhi, said: “The bar council is already on a strike, they are not working.
“The demand is that the officer should be arrested, the officer who fired on the lawyers on Saturday.”
Lawyers at the District Court of the Indian capital have gone on strike and will not resume their duties until this happens, he added.
Delhi High Court has asked the Bar Council for a report of what happened to hold a hearing into the incident, Gupta said.