Lawyer-police clash continue in Jaipur, court issues notice

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 07, 2013 16:50 hrs

Jaipur, March 7 (IANS) Clashes between lawyers and police continued here for the second day Thursday leaving at least 30 people, including over 20 policemen, injured, police said while the state high court sought explanation for the crackdown on the agitating legal fraternity.

The violence Thursday began after a group of lawyers torched the temporary lock-up used for holding prisoners in the court premises in the morning.

"The lawyers then started pelting stones on the policemen deputed on law and order duty. They surrounded a police control room vehicle and torched it. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Mahendra Singh and at least 20 other policemen were injured in the stone pelting," said a police officer.

However, the lawyers claimed that they were trying to hold talks with police and alleged that the agitating lawyers were beaten up by policemen without any provocation.

Police cordoned off the entire area and used tear gas to disperse the scattered crowed of lawyers.

The lawyers damaged about 10 vehicles parked near the court premises by smashing their glass windows.

Judicial services were meanwhile crippled as the lawyers boycotted work demanding suspension of senior police officers. They torched a police control room vehicle while damaging about 10 cars passing through the Banipark area, police said.

A senior police officer said that the Banipark area where the sessions and district court buildings are located had been barricaded following information that lawyers had gathered there in large numbers.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed for peace and said that lawyers' demands will be looked into.

A division bench of Chief Justice Amitava Roy and justice Ajay Rastogi issued notice to the state home secretary and police chief seeking explanation over police action against agitating lawyers on a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Rajasthan High Court Bar Association's former general secretary Mahendra Shandilya.

High Court judge R.S. Chauhan also met the protesting lawyers at the sessions and district court near the collectorate circle where the clashes occurred.

About two dozen people, including advocates and police officers, were injured when clashes occurred between lawyers and police outside the state assembly building during the ongoing budget session Wednesday.

To draw attention to their demands, the lawyers broke security barricades put up by the police and marched towards the assembly building.

The demands included a residential project on subsidised rates for lawyers, allowance of Rs.2,000 per month for lawyers with less than five years of experience, allocation of Rs.10 crore to the Rajasthan Lawyers' Welfare Board and the constitution of a Lawyers' Welfare Act.

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