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Advocates hoist black flag and stage demonstration

Special Correspondent

They resolve to go on indefinite court boycott

— Photo: M. Moorthy

Dissent: Advocates shouting slogans during a protest inside the District Court complex in Tiruchi.

TIRUCHI: Members of the Tiruchi Bar Association hoisted a black flag at the flagstaff on the District Court complex here on Friday in protest against the police lathicharge against advocates in the Madras High Court on Thursday.

Tension prevailed around the court complex for most part of the day. Shops around the court complex remained closed. The court campus was completely cordoned off by the police until afternoon.

After an urgently convened general body meeting, which strongly condemned the “barbaric and atrocious police attack” against the advocates at the High Court, a group of the Bar members came in a short procession to hoist the black flag on the flagstaff meant for the national flag. The advocates staged a brief demonstration inside the campus raising slogans against the police. A couple of them pelted stones, which however failed to hit the intended targets.

Throughout the episode, lasting nearly an hour, office-bearers of the Bar had a tough time keeping some of the excited lawyers within the court complex. At one stage, the Bar Secretary, T. Gangaiselvan, along with a few others locked the court gates.

In the morning, gates at all the entrances of the court complex were locked and a group of lawyers forced their way from a side entrance. Later, this and the front gates were opened only to be closed again by the lawyers themselves. A strong posse of policemen were deployed all around and roads leading to the court were closed. The traffic diversion on the normally busy court junction, resulted in severe traffic jams in the City.

The Bar, at its meeting chaired by president A. Pushparaj, resolved to go on an indefinite court boycott until the lawyers’ demands were conceded to. It demanded the dismissal of the Director General of Police K. P. Jain, the Chennai City Police Commissioner K. Radhakrishnan and the Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Madras High Court area.

It demanded the immediate arrest of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, based on the complaint of the advocates. The meeting chided Mr. Swamy for “his socially irresponsible” action of appearing in the High Court when the advocates were on a court boycott.

The government should initiate action against policemen responsible for damaging the property of the advocates under the provisions of the Public Property (Prevention of Damage) Act.

The government should sanction compensation for the injured advocates and to those whose property was damaged, the Bar demanded.

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