NEW DELHI: A scuffle broke out on Monday between students and lawyers outside the Patiala House courts in Delhi during a hearing on the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar.
The student was arrested last week and charged with of sedition for allegedly raising anti-India slogans.
The students, who have been demanding Kumar’s release, alleged that they were roughed up by lawyers when they entered the court premises.
“I am not even a JNU student. We were peacefully waiting for him. Some six or seven lawyers, started pointing towards us and then they abused and called us Pakistanis,” said an eye-witness.
“I saw the lawyers beating up a journalist brutally," said another person present at the court.
Four journalists and some JNU students were assaulted, other witnesses said.
IANS reporter Amiya Kumar Kushwaha was slapped inside a court room while some other journalists were attacked within the premises by lawyers shouting "Bharat Mata ki Jai" slogans.
The incident took place just before Kanhaiya Kumar was to be brought to the court.
Reporter Kushwaha said he was slapped repeatedly by some lawyers. "I don't know who hit me or why they hit me. I started to run from the courtroom. Fortunately, some lawyers who knew me protected me," he said.
Indian Express reporter Alok Singh said he and a group of journalists were standing outside the courtroom when some lawyers pounced on JNU students there and began thrashing them.
"As I started speaking to my chief reporter, the lawyers attacked me too. I kept telling them I was a journalist but they wouldn't listen," he said.
"They slapped and kicked me, and snatched my mobile and broke it. I saw others also being attacked for no apparent reason."
Journalists also saw O.P. Sharma, one of the three BJP legislators in the Delhi Assembly, chasing and hitting a JNU student outside the court.
The violence took place despite a large police presence in the court complex in the heart of the capital.