New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on charges of sedition, has told a Supreme Court-appointed lawyers' probe panel that he was beaten by a group of men in lawyers' robes in the presence of police personnel in Patiala House court premises on February 17.
"When the police brought me inside the court's gate, a mob of men in lawyers' robes attacked me. It appeared as if they were ready to attack and they were calling others also. I was assaulted.”
"The police escorting me tried to save me but the police officials were also beaten up," he said while narrating the sequence of events to the lawyers' panel in a video shown on CNN-IBN today.
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.
In another instance when he was attacked, the police, who were there, did not do anything, he said.
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."
The student leader told the panel that the person, who had attacked him, had come to the adjacent courtroom and he had told his teacher about it.
"I told my teacher that this man was assaulting me and then the police asked that person about his identity. He in turn questioned the policeman and asked him to show his I- card. That person left the place in front of the police and the police did nothing. He could have been apprehended there itself. I had told the police that this man had assaulted me," he said.
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 BS 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.
"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.
On being asked by the panel as to whether he was attacked inside the courtroom where the hearing took place, the student leader said: "No. Not inside the courtroom."
The team of senior advocates, after taking stock of the situation at Patiala House Court, 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, a report on Saturday said that security of Kanhaiya Kumar has been beefed up in Tihar Prison, where he is lodged.
Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on February 12 after the event held on the university campus in commemoration of the death of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru who was executed in 2013. He allegedly shouted anti-India slogans at the event.
(With PTI inputs)