What happened that night
On New Year’s eve, the cops who patrol the streets to maintain law and order prepare themselves for the unknown as party revellers boozed up on liquor are an unpredictable lot.
But for the staff of the 3rd Battalion, New Year’s eve was akin to a ‘lynching’ as they had to fend off angry college students who had laid siege to a police picket and pelted stones at them.
More than 20 police staff including women staff were present when the law and order situation started to deteriorate near Batra Cinema, Mukherjee Nagar. They were alerted by the screams of a woman who cried for help.
“We were posted along with several police staff and tried to manage the unruly crowd. They were dancing in the streets and trying to block traffic. Suddenly a boy, along with a woman driving pillion were intercepted and we tried to save her,” said Sub-Inspector, Sajjan Kumar.
The woman was dragged by her shawl by the mob, as they tried to make her sit with them. The police, however, were able to rescue her.
“We managed to apprehend two persons and the woman and her companion suddenly took off. The two men were taken to a police booth in the area. We had started to question them. Meanwhile, the other staff tried to pacify the crowd,” said Constable Sunil Sharma.
The staff had also called for reinforcements and thought that the day had come to an end. But then a crowd started to gather outside the booth. Some of them started to question the police as to why the men were detained despite the fact that the complainant was not present at the spot.
Arguing with the crowd proved to be futile as many from the crowd comprising college students had made calls to the local PGs and soon a very large gathering was mobilised to confront the feeble force.
“They started to question us and then we thought that we should take the two accused inside the booth. But suddenly the crowd lost its patience and started hurling abuses at us and tried to physically confront us,”Kumar added.
As the police barricaded itself inside the booth, the crowd started pelting stones. The accused managed to free themselves and fled the spot. “We all hid under the benches as the crowd pelted stones and broke the glass and also managed to break the grill,” a constable said.
Constable Anil Kaushik, SI Sajjan Kumar were also attacked with bricks. They suffered injuries to the head. The siege ended when reinforcements arrived.