Lawyers observe bandh to protest police action

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Berhampur, Apr 25 (UNI) Normal life in this South Orissa city was today paralysed following a dawn-to-dusk Berhampur bandh called by the lawyers to protest the April 22 police action.

Most of the government offices, post offices, banks and educational institutions were closed while the vehicles were off the road. However, train services were not much affected owing to the bandh call.

The bandh demonstrators squatted on the track and detained the DMU for sometime. Later, the agitators allowed other trains to pass through the station.

The district court and other courts, however, functioned but the lawyers abstained from attending the courts. The bandh was called by the Ganjam Bar Association in protest against the police lathicharge on the advocates on April 22 in which several lawyers were injured.

The lawyers have been boycotting the courts since December last demanding permanent bench of Orissa High court. On April 22 the agitation turned violent when the police resorted to lathicharge in a bid to open the court.

Several lawyers and policemen had been injured following a clsh between the two. Later, the police arrested 29 advocates.

Ganjam Bar Association president Sachi Rath while condemning the police action demanded transfer of the District judge and the Ganjam Superintendent of Police holding them responsible for the attack on the lawyers.

Meanwhile, all the 29 lawyers arrested by the police refused to be released on bail and demanded that they be released unconditionally.

Police said no untoward incident was reported so far.

UNI XC-DP KK RD 1633

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