Hours after Delhi Police personnel protesting outside the Police Headquarters remembered one of their most beloved officers with loud chants of "Kiran Bedi lao, Delhi Police bachao", the Puducherry Lt. Governor took to Twitter to share her memories and emotions of an era gone by when the national capital had seen similar scenes of protesting as they vented anger over their colleagues being thrashed by lawyers.
As the junior officials drowned out seniors trying to placate them on Tuesday in an unprecedented moment of difference within the force, the protesters took out placards of the former IPS officer and wanted her back.
On Wednesday, Bedi, who has a new role said: "Leadership is a 'Character' that takes responsibility and takes tough decisions. It is a 'life' of 'doing'...Tough times go, Memories of Tough Acts Remain." The senior IPS officer, could never become the Delhi Police Commissioner during her tenure as she was not an IPS "lobby favourite".
"Rights and Responsibilities are two sides of the same coin. We as citizens must never forget this. Whoever and wherever we be. We need a major shift in our emphasis in this regard. When we all excercise our responsibility of being law abiding there is no conflict."
The reason for the police personnel remembering Bedi, the first woman Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, is rooted in a February 17, 1988 incident at Tis Hazari Court complex, when Bedi backed the police force and had a face-off with lawyers, who were protesting the handcuffing of an advocate on suspicion of theft.
This was in complete contrast to the support that the officials recieved after the Saturday incident, when lawyers on Monday thrashed policemen in the Saket court. On Tuesday, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik was booed by constables after he asked them to call off the agitation.
Talking to IANS, an ailing woman police constable on the condition of anonymity said, "Our Golf-1 (Amulya Patnaik) is of no use. Had there been a Commissioner like Kiran Bedi, we wouldn't have taken to the streets to stage a protest. 'Kiran Madam' used to pay heed to the concerns of her sub-ordinates even constables/hawaldars."
"Whereas, he (Patnaik) didn't even visit the injured cops in the hospital. Monika Madam (Monika Bhardwaj, DCP, North district) and Sanjay Singh (Special Commissioner of Police Law and Order, Northern Range) suspended their sub-ordinates to save themselves. They were suspended for following the officers' instructions," she added.
"Had Kiran Madam (Kiran Bedi) been there, she would have led by example."
Kiran Bedi is also known as "Crane Bedi" for ordering the towing away of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's car from Delhi's Connaught Place area in 1982.
Hundreds of Delhi Police personnel on Tuesday gheraoed the Police Headquarters (PHQ) at ITO here to protest against repeated incidents of violence against them by lawyers. A parking row between between police personnel and lawyers on Saturday had escalated leading to violence and arson at the Tis Hazari Court complex.
At least 20 police personnel and several lawyers were injured and many vehicles were damaged in the incident. The lawyers alleged that the police fired at them.
The Delhi High Court on Sunday ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence by a team comprising a retired judge, Directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Intelligence Bureau and Vigilance.