Police Commissioner Bassi – His Master’s Voice

Mr Bassi said to the press:

“Investigation is on. And after identifying the people, action will be taken as per the law. O.P. Sharma said that he was injured. If I may use the term it was a little surcharged environment. Allegations and counter allegations have been levelled from both the sides. So, we have registered FIR in both episodes.”

There were no “two episodes”. There was one – of unprovoked violence by a mob.

I was one of those inside the courtroom, and if I may use the term Mr Bassi, your lack of professionalism and your bias is a little too evident. The atmosphere was not surcharged until hordes of Sanghis suddenly poured into Court No. 4 Patiala House, in what is now clear was a pre-planned attack mobilized through a WhatsApp message.


About ten of us faculty members, mostly women, were seated in the empty courtroom, waiting for Kanhaiya to be produced before the judge. We were there to show solidarity, and to let Kanhaiya know that he is not alone. We were seated absolutely quietly and patiently. Outside, about 20 students and other supporters waited, equally quietly and patiently. Not a single slogan was raised.

Inside the courtroom, suddenly a large number of men burst in, and first told us rudely to vacate the chairs, as they were meant for lawyers. A couple of us even stood up, saying sorry, we didn’t know they were for lawyers, we will stand. But almost immediately it became evident that they were intent on physically pushing us out and they started manhandling us, shouting, calling us desh drohis and so on.

The rest of the story is well known by now. And everybody present, including journalists, saw everything that happened, both inside and outside. As for the slogan ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, honestly, I have heard it in Delhi ONLY in the mouths of Hindutvavaadis when they accuse us of raising it. Ever. No such slogan was raised in Patiala House

(It would be amusing if it were not like living through the Third Reich, to hear CPI members being accused of shouting this strange slogan. CPI – which may be even more nationalist than BJP!)

Here is an eye witness account of who actually produced the “surcharged” atmosphere, by journalists of The Hindu:

First, the mob charged the atmosphere by shouting ‘Pakistan Murdabad, Bharat Mata ki Jai’. The first victim was a clerk of a lawyer who they beat up mercilessly. He escaped with the intervention of a group of lawyers.

Later, the rabble was seen marching around the court premises to spot any dissenting voices and promptly thrashed them.

There is no doubt that Bassi is acting as an agent of the BJP government. The WhatsApp message is available for investigation, it is crystal clear that there was a conspiracy to violently attack and lynch Kanhaiya Kumar, that a large mob of people in lawyers’ clothes with no provocation whatsoever, beat up unresisting, merely patiently waiting people and media personnel. And that the police watched silently.

(The faculty inside were escorted out of Patiala House to the gate by a cordon of police, through circuitous corridors, supposedly for our safety. When we reached the front gate, we were made to rush away in autos, as we were apparently in danger even waiting at the front gate for our cars! The police tell us this, the forces supposed to protect us from mobs – not in a panic-stricken way, sneak us out.)

Meanwhile, just saw an interview on India Today of the chief goon who barged in to try and intimidate us and then led the manhandling. Identified as Vikram Singh Chauhan on the programme, he claimed that we were 20-30 strong and were raising pro Pakistan slogans, because of which he was forced to raise Bharat Mata slogans, and that we initiated the scuffle.

Lies, all lies. They were about 20, we were 10. They were violent in word and deed, we protested and resisted only when pushed around.  But then, that is the old RSS watchword – Deceive and Intimidate.

Sonal Mehrotra of NDTV who was present there corroborates my account:

Around 1:30 pm, I was inside the court room of Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen for the bail hearing of JNUSU president Kanhaiyaa Kumar. It was a completely calm court room with lawyers, journalists and senior faculty from JNU waiting for the court proceedings to start. Out of the blue, some men in black jackets (the sort lawyers wear) and some in civil clothes came in and shouted at the teachers, “What are you anti-nationals doing here? Leave this place, this is not JNU, go back to Pakistan”. They turned to me next. “Are you a JNU student? How dare you enter here, this is our court, not your JNU, leave now else you will be harmed.”

A little later, the cops came in and escorted all the teachers out and asked us to stay outside the court since the place was turning volatile. I moved to the lobby to figure out who these people were.

The journalists’ march today called for the dismissal of Bassi – yes, indeed, Bassi must go.

5 thoughts on “Police Commissioner Bassi – His Master’s Voice”

  1. Has Generalissimo Bassi not seen the photos in which O.P. Sharma is exercising his substantial self by beating up a student? Or should I say Sardandachalak Bassi?

  2. No surprises! When the police issue statements that in a fierce gun-battle, women and children were killed in encounter, and, guns, ammunition, marxist/maoist literature found in the site of the encounter, this kind of blatant lies are, regrettably, expected

  3. Was watching India Today just after the incident had taken place. The lady reporter of India Today was thoroughly disturbed and terrified by what she had seen just before few minutes in the courtroom. For few minutes she could not speak. Later she narrated the incident – first hand. As to Bassi, less said the better. It is evident that he is playing to the tune of his masters. What happened in the court room has dangerous portends. Specially that it happened inside court room and the police were quiet spectators. Is it not an attempt to show even the judiciary what these goons can do even inside a court rooms and the police will not act. Will SC act – as promised to media people. The decision of SC will show the way things are likely to unfurl in days to come.

  4. Since you have mentioned, I wish to quote from Richard J. Evans’ The Third Reich in Power :
    “ ‘ Do you know what fear is?’ an elderly worker asked an interviewer some years after it was all over: ‘No. The Third Reich was fear.’ Yet terrorism was only one of the Third Reich’s techniques of rule. For the Nazis did not just seek to batter the population into passive, sullen acquiescence. They also wanted to rouse it into positive, enthusiastic endorsement of their ideals and policies, to change people’s minds and spirits and to create a new German culture that would reflect their values alone. This meant propaganda, and here too…they went to unprecedented lengths to achieve their aims.” [118, Penguin Books, 2006]

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