Violence broke out between lawyers and journalists at the Patiala House Court in New Delhi on 15 February afternoon. The incident took place as the president of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)'s student union was due to be appear on charges of sedition for his role in an event hosted at the university.
JNU has been at the centre of intense media coverage, following the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar on 12 February. His arrest came as JNU students staged a rally discussing the hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru, the terrorist convicted over a 2001 plot to attack the Indian Parliament. Anti-India slogans were allegedly chanted by some students during the rally, prompting calls for the institution to be shut down amidst fears it was breeding "anti-nationals".
Reports from the Patiala House Court have indicated that lawyers have allegedly attacked JNU students who came to the court to support Kumar, as well as journalists. Local media reports also indicated that the group of lawyers could be heard chanting pro-Indian slogans as they attacked students and journalists within the court premises.
Many of India's leading news organisations reported that their journalists had been attacked by lawyers, with some taking to Twitter to relay what was happening at the court. The Times of India reported that at least five journalists had been locked inside a courtroom and beaten up by lawyers for being "anti-national" and supporting JNU students through their coverage.
Asian News International released a video appearing to show a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) OP Sharma beating up an unidentified man outside the court house. Despite a large media presence, Sharma appears to continue to attack the man.
Akshay Deshmane from the Economic Times was one of the journalists who claimed he had been attacked by lawyers at Patiala District Court. IBN7 reporter Amit Pandey was also injured during the attack, colleagues confirmed on Twitter. A reporter from Malayalam Channel was also said to have been beaten up because lawyers thought he was taking photos. India Today and the Hindustan Times also confirmed that their reporters had been caught up in the violence.
While many have been condemning the violence and questioning the Delhi Police over how this was allowed to happen, others have taken to Twitter to express their joy at the journalists being attacked. Some indicated that the lawyers were right to "break their legs" as a punishment for the journalists supporting "goons" and "JNU traitors". Others said that they wished they had been there to orchestrate the attacks themselves.