Delhi: It was a day of high drama. JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was on Wednesday sent to judicial custody till March 2 while the Supreme Court made Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi personally responsible for his safety after being told that he was "badly beaten up" while being brought to court premises.
Not only Kumar, several journalists were again beaten up by a section of lawyers at the Patiala House Court - much like what happened on Monday - before the JNUSU president was brought there, as per IANS.
The court directed Delhi Police and the superintendent of the Tihar jail to ensure his safety.
The JNUSU president has been booked under sedition charge in connection with an event at JNU where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised last week. He was arrested by Delhi Police on February 12.
I do not support anti-national activity, says Kanhaiya Kumar
Kanhaiya Kumar told the court that he was attacked by a group of people wearing black robes while he was being escorted by police to the court room. The leftist All India Students Federation (AISF) leader was arrested on February 12 on after anti-India slogans were raised at an event held at the JNU campus on February 9 to commemorate the execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
"I have said earlier too. I am an Indian. I have full faith in the Constitution as well as the judiciary of the country," Kumar told metropolitan magistrate Lovleen when he was produced for remand proceedings.
He condemned the February 9 event at the JNU and said those who shouted the allegedly anti-national slogans included "some people from JNU and a section of outsiders".
"The media trial against me is painful. If there is evidence against me that I am a traitor, then you please send me to jail. But if there no evidence against me, there should be no media trial," he said in a statement at the start of the proceedings.
Kanhaiya moved to Tihar Jail, kept under high security
Meanwhile, Kumar was tonight taken to Tihar Jail and kept in a separate cell, following which authorities have sounded a high security alert inside the prison complex, and are keeping a round-the-clock watch for the safety of the student leader.
"Kanhaiya who was brought to Tihar at around 8 pm has been lodged in a separate cell of ward number 4 of jail number 3. Two Tamil Nadu Special Police personnel have been deputed to keep a round-the-clock watch over him and ensure his safety," said a senior Tihar official, as per PTI.
"In view of the prevailing tension over sedition charges being faced by Kanhaiya, maximum vigil will be maintained and a high security alert has been sounded to ensure all the precautions and measures are taken to prevent any untoward incident," the official said.
SC asks Commissioner of Police to ensure safety
On the other hand, a team of senior lawyers today told the Supreme Court, which had asked them to get a first hand assessment, that situation at the Patiala House Court was 'unprecedented' and there was an 'atmosphere was of fear and terror'.
Senior lawyers including Kapil Sibal, Indira Jaising and advocate Prashant Bhushan, drew the attention of the bench of Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre to the "extra-ordinary" situation in Patiala House Court where security and safety was under threat.
They also informed the apex court that JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar was "manhandled" while being produced in court.
The court stepped in to rush a six-member panel of advocates appointed by it to Patiala House courts in the afternoon after it was apprised of fresh incidents of violence involving persons in black robes.
The lawyers team gave an oral report mentioning that there was a total breakdown of law and order in which Kumar was 'manhandled'.
The bench then made it clear that 'the responsibility is exclusively is that of the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to ensure the safety of the accused'.
The court had earlier in the day given a slew of directions and limited the entry of lawyers, journalists and others in the court premises in the wake of violence on Monday when scribes, teachers and students of JNU were thrashed by the lawyers.
Attacks on media highly improper, condemnable: Arun Jaitley
Union Minister Arun Jaitley today termed the incidents as "highly improper and condemnable" and asserted that the media has unhindered right to report.
"Media has an unhindered right to report; Attack on media persons is highly improper and condemnable," the Information & Broadcasting Minister said in a tweet.
(With Agency inputs)