Lawyers continue protest, litigants hit

Stalemate in Orissa High Court will continue till Monday with lawyers hardening their stand on the issue of "brutal police assault" on one of their colleagues.

By Our correspondent in Cuttack
  • Published 31.08.18
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Lawyers demonstrate in Cuttack on Thursday. Picture by Badrika Nath Das

Cuttack: Stalemate in Orissa High Court will continue till Monday with lawyers hardening their stand on the issue of "brutal police assault" on one of their colleagues.

The lawyers decided on Thursday to continue to abstain from court work even as commissionerate police suspended placed three policemen for "misconduct" and initiated departmental action against a home guard in connection with the incident. They wanted immediate arrest of the "erring policemen".

The lawyers have been boycotting court work since Wednesday to protest against alleged police atrocities on lawyer Debi Prasad Pattnaik. The lawyer-police fracas took place on Tuesday when Pattnaik's car accidentally hit two motorbikes near Nuabazar. When angry local residents were manhandling Pattnaik, the police arrived to rescue the lawyer. The incident, however, turned into a spat between the cops and the lawyer. Pattnaik alleged that the police had beaten him up before taking him to the Chauliaganj police station.

The lawyers on Wednesday took to the streets and set tyres on fire to block the road near the high court. While the road blockade continued for an hour, goons set a police vehicle on fire at a distance from the protest site. The police promptly assigned an additional DCP level officer to inquire into the alleged assault on the lawyer. The officer submitted a preliminary inquiry report on Thursday.

Deputy commissioner of police Akhileswar Singh said: "Based on the preliminary inquiry report havildar Prasanna Kumar Behera, constable Dillip Kumar Samal and Odisha Armed Police Force personnel Udaya Kumar Bhuyan have been placed under suspension for misconduct and departmental action has been initiated against home guard Kishore Jena."

High Court Bar Association secretary Satyabrata Mohanty said: "We have received a communication from the DCP regarding the order of suspension and department inquiry. But our general body was not satisfied with the action as the brutal assault on the lawyer warranted arrest of the erring policemen... So we decided to continue to abstain from court work."