Lawyers face water cannons, lathis
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'Thrashing' of constable in HC z 'Peaceful' march to Raj Bhawan to give memo to UT Administrator Shivraj Patil takes ugly turn.
On their way to submit a memorandum to UT Administrator Shivraj Patil protesting against the registration of what they called a "one-sided" FIR against 20 lawyers for allegedly thrashing a police head constable on High Court premises on February 26, lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court were cane-charged and subjected to water cannons by the police, on Wednesday.
Violent scenes were witnessed just meters away from the Punjab Raj Bhawan as the Chandigarh Police used water cannons and mercilessly thrashed lawyers leaving several of them injured.
Outraged, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana has asked lawyers practising in lower Courts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to abstain from work on March 7 and 8.
Condemning the high handedness of the police, the chairman of the Bar Council Minderjeet Yadav said: "All 72,000 lawyers of lower courts have been asked to support the High Court Bar Association lawyers against the unjustified registration of FIR."
The lawyers claimed that they had been assured by the authorities, on Tuesday, that they will be allowed to submit the memorandum to Patil.
However, late on Tuesday, the UT Administration and the UT Police invoked Sector 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) around Raj Bhawan. Armed with sticks, heavy police deployment were seen outside Raj Bhawan.
Leading the delegation of lawyers from the front, noted senior lawyer and former UT senior standing counsel, Anupam Gupta, disclosed that the Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner, UT Adviser K K Sharma and senior police officers, on Tuesday, had tried to convince him to call off the march to the Raj Bhawan.
"I had given my solemn word that it will be a peaceful protest. I had promised that lawyers will act with restraint and that putting up of barricades will spoil the situation," Gupta told The Indian Express.
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