Lawyers demand HC bench in Western,Southern and Northern Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 13 (UNI) The demand for a permanent bench of Orissa High court in Western Orissa, Southern Orissa and Northern Orissa, was intensified with protest demonstrations and bandh by the agitating lawyers today.

A 12-hour Ganjam bandh was observed in southern Orissa in support of the permanent bench of Orissa High court in Berhampur. The lawyers from far off Western Orissa also took to the street before the state Assembly for the same demand.

Their counterparts in Mayurbhanj have decided to boycott the courts and stage protest demonstration on February 15 for the permanent bench of the High Court at Baripada, Northern Orissa.

The Ganjam district bandh called by the Action Committee of Ganjam Bar Association paralysed the life as vehicles were off the road, business establishments downed their shutters and educational institutions were closed.

The lawyers forced to close the government offices including Revenue Divisional Commissioner Southern Division. Train services were also affected for few hours as the lawyers squatted at Brahmapur railway station.

The ICICI office at Dharma Nagar, Public Health Department office at Corporation Road were attacked by the bandh supporters.

In Bhubneswar over one thousand lawyers from the ten districts of Western Orissa staged a demonstration before the State Assembly for same cause. They boycotted all the courts today and would do the same tomorrow.

They also made an abortive attempt to enter in the assembly.

Later a 16-member delegation led by Western Orissa lawyers Central Action Committee Convenor Sirish Ballav Mishra met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and discussed the issue with the Home Secretary and Law Secretary.

The government, official sources said had constituted a two-member committee to look into the demands of the lawyers and submit its recommendation to the Chief Minister by Tuesday.

The government was contemplating to recommend to the Union government to consider the issue of setting up of permanent bench of the High Court in both Western and Southern Orissa.

Over 1500 slogan shouting advocates dressed in their uniform would be parading the streets of the district headquarters town to ventilate their demands. The lawyers in the Sub-Divisional towns of Rairangpur, Karanjia and Udala would also resort to a strike the same day and paralyse court work in support of the demand.

UNI DP PC RN2210

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