The indefinite strike by more than 2,000 advocates to protest an extortion call made to the district Bar association general secretary entered its second day on Monday, causing inconvenience to litigants.
On May 31 evening, an anonymous caller warned Bar association general secretary Rajeev Kumar Dwivedi of dire consequences if he failed to cough up Rs 20,000 within seven days in Bettiah.
“At a meeting of the district Bar association held on Saturday, advocates had resolved to stay away from work till the anonymous caller was arrested. We have also resolved not to accept briefs of extortion cases in the larger interest of the society,” said general secretary Dwivedi today.
In spite of presence of litigants in the civil court, all courts under judgeship and collectorate wore a deserted look. A few litigants who came felt helpless. “My husband Nahdu Paswan was expected to be released from jail today but his bail application, pending in the court of sub-divisional judicial magistrate of Sikrahna, could not be heard owing to the strike,” said his wife, Sona Devi, who had come all the way from Khartari village under the jurisdiction of Chiraiya police station to attend the morning court.
In a memorandum submitted to the district administration on Saturday, the Bar association has demanded that a pistol licence be issued to Dwivedi and a police bodyguard provided to him apart from stepping up security for lawyers on the court premises.
A delegation of lawyers led by district Bar association president Anirudh Prasad Singh met district magistrate Vinay Kumar on Monday.
The DM, however, was busy and could not be contacted. District Bar association president Singh said: “This is the first time that a leading criminal lawyer and the Bar association general secretary in any district has been targeted by extortionists.”