ACP Gokulpuri Anuj Kumar, injured in the Delhi violence, spoke to NDTV
Days after parts of Delhi were left scarred by horrific violence over the citizenship law, scary details of a pitched battle between a small group of cops and hundreds of stone-throwing goons have emerged.
The clash, which took place on February 24 in the Chand Bagh area of the national capital, was the same one in which Delhi Police Head Constable Ratan Lal was shot dead and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) was injured.
In the video a large mob can be seen closing in on cops from opposite sides of the Wazirabad Road in northeast Delhi. Surrounded, the cops back up against the road divider to mount a last stand before being overrun by thugs with sticks and stones.
"That morning (February 24), we (DCP Amit Sharma, my officers and two companies) were sent to Chand Bagh. A crowd had gathered on Wazirabad Road and we were told to clear them," Anuj Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Gokulpuri), told NDTV today.
Delhi violence: Cops had gone to northeast Delhi's Chand Bagh to speak with anti-CAA protesters
"The crowd in the service road started swelling… they were behind where we had positioned ourselves. Men and women then began throwing stones," Mr Kumar said, recalling how the violence escalated and quickly spiraled out of control.
Anuj Kumar sustained a head injury that day, as he and his team tried to save the lives of Ratan Lal, Amit Sharma and their colleagues.
Stunned by the size of the crowd and the ferocity of the attacks, the cops scattered and then regrouped around the road divider, which offered a measure of defence.
"We were cornered against that divider… and the protesters were becoming very violent. At that time I tried looking for sir (DCP Amit Sharma). I found him lying unconscious near the divider. He was bleeding," Anuj Kumar said, propped up in a bed with a large bandage wrapped around his head.
Delhi violence: Delhi Police officer Amit Sharma is seeing being escorted by a ring of policemen
Bruised and beaten, the cops were forced to retreat; in another video DCP Amit Sharma can be seen being escorted away under the protection of a ring of his colleagues.
"Ratan was also with me but we were separated. By that time others had taken him to a nearby clinic. DCP sir was also there. We commandeered a private car and rushed to hospital but they couldn't save him (Ratan Lal)," Anuj Kumar said.
Over 50 people died in the violence that consumed northeast Delhi for four days last week and hundreds others were injured.
Delhi Police, which is controlled by the Home Ministry, has been criticised for its slow reaction to the incident. The cops have filed over 650 cases related to the violence and 1,820 people have been either arrested or detained.
Police sources later said that the violence, which came as US President Donald Trump was visiting India, appeared to have been organised with the help of WhatsApp groups.