Kanhaiya recounts Feb 17 horror attack
In visuals that were aired on television news channels on Saturday, Kanhaiya was seen narrating his ordeal to a team of Supreme Court advocates. He also accused the Delhi Police of not taking any action even after he identified his attacker.
“A mob which wore lawyers’ robes, attacked me. It happened just after I entered the gate. It looked as if they were prepared to attack me on my arrival, because those who were beating me, were also calling on others to do the same. The place from where we enter the court, there is a machine, while pushing me through that machine my pants came off, I suffered injuries. They bashed me with punches and kicks to my stomach. I was beaten by one after another,” Kanhaiya tells the SC team in the video.
He added he was almost disrobed during the entire violence.
“They (mob) came till the gate of the court and one man came chasing after me to the next room and sat behind me. I told my teacher that this is the man who thrashed me. When the police asked that person for his identity he countered by asking the policeman to show his identity card… I told the police that this man had assaulted me, but he was not arrested and was let off,” Kanhaiya said.
Kanhaiya’s lawyer, Vrindra Grover, can also be seen in the video, claiming the police failure to protect her client from assault. “When we were entering there was lot of sloganeering, we felt anxious and there was fear in us. I told police and the registrar general to ensure Kanhaiya’s safety as there was a hostile environment. Our phones were taken away, our identity cards were checked,” Grover added.
“The man, who attacked Kanhaiya, came in the court and left the court. I repeatedly made appeals to police to put security for Kanhaiya, but they didn’t do that. They kept nodding and didn’t provide security. The senior-most police personnel allow him to go and later they come and tell us that they don’t know who that person was,” she added.
The panel of six advocates — Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, ADN Rao, Ajit Kumar Sinha and Haren Raval, had visited the Patiala House Courts premises on February 17 after the Apex Court was informed that Kanhaiya was beaten up during his production before the magistrate. After Kanhaiya narrated the incident to the panel inside the courtroom, Sibal called DCP Jatin Narwal and enquired from him about it.
“How did you allow the attack to take place inside court premises? Your men were there. What were they doing? How he (man who attacked Kanhaiya outside the gate of the courtroom) was allowed to come inside,” the panel members asked the DCP.
Responding to it, Narwal said: “He came with the escort party and entered the room adjacent to the courtroom.”
The panel members then called other police officials and asked them about the incident and they replied that the person who attacked Kanhaiya had claimed that he was his lawyer.
Kanhaiya told the panel that when he was assaulted, he fell down and sustained injuries and at that time he could not see what the police was doing.
To this, Sibal asked the DCP: “That means police was there and they did nothing.”
On February 17, a bunch of rowdy lawyers had launched a brazen attack on Kanhaiya, journalists and others and also indulged in stone-pelting and hurling abuses on the panel of senior lawyers.
The panel members then asked Kanhaiya as to whether he could identify the policemen who were present there and the man who assaulted him.
He replied: “I can identify. I had told the police that this man had assaulted me and I want to file a complaint against him. He was the first person who had assaulted me at the gate.”
At this juncture, the panel members told the DCP: “His safety is your responsibility. Do not give excuses. This is unbelievable. You are now under Supreme Court’s order and not B S Bassi’s order.” Kanhaiya told the panel that the persons who attacked him were “highly politically motivated persons.” He said he had narrated the incident to the magistrate during the hearing also.
“I told the judge that on the first day when I was brought to the court, there was no attack and everything was normal. I am a PhD student of JNU and I am being called a traitor...I have full faith in the Constitution of India,” he said.
His lawyers then told the panel members that magistrate had asked Kanhaiya to give a statement in writing.
The team of senior advocates, after taking stock of the situation at Patiala House Courts, informed the Apex Court that there was serious threat to safety of Kanhaiya who was beaten and pushed by unknown persons in the court.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi on Saturday said the sedition case in connection with the controversial JNU event has been transferred to the force’s counter-terrorism unit Special Cell. “I have directed my officers to transfer the case to Special Cell as the matter needs focused investigation. In a case registered under Section 124 A (Sedition), the Special Cell shall do justice,” he said. The process of transfer will take around two days, he said, adding that the local police district would not be able to put the focus which the case demands as they have to deal with numerous routine law and order affairs.