The incident unfolded when the huge cache of mediamen converged at the civil court premises to report on the case involving mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy in the illegal mining case. With no provocation of any sort, the lawyers who resembled seasoned criminals started to shout expletives at the journalists and to make matters worse, started pelting stones at them.
The other version on the provocation is that after Reddy was produced in court, the lawyers were not too happy of the presence of media in the court complex and engaged in assaulting the journos. TV reports show the lawyers going on a violent rampage and checking out the media passes of the journalists and making sure to focus their attacks on the journalist community.
The frustration did not end there, apparently 10-15 vehicles were set on fire and in act of ultimate anger, the lawyers started showering stones at the Government college located near to the court leading to heated exchange with students there. A police outpost in the high-security Vidhan Soudha premises was also burnt down by these hooligans in black.
One journalist on conditions of anonymity stated that the "rowdy elements in the advocate community was causing this ruckus."
This is not the first time that lawyers have displayed their ugly side in public, more than 1000 lawyers had blocked roads causing a traffic chaos near the Mysore Bank circle. They blocked roads for almost a day bringing public life to a standstill. [What journalists across the country had to say]
Following the incident that is sure to bring much shame to Karnataka, Home Minister R Ashok has been quoted as saying, "there is a long history of animosity between advocates and police; and police and the media. What we need to do now is sit down and sort out the issue and put an end to this ugly incident." He also issued prohibitory orders in the area.
Besides the number of injuries, preliminary reports suggest that the cameraman of Public TV Nagesh was seriously injured and rushed to hospital. Similarly, the DCP of Bangalore Central, Ramesh was also grievously injured in the incident. After attacking journalists, students ,they vented out their ire at policemen as well.
As a mark of protest, journalists are boycotting CM Sadananda Gowda's programme in the city.
This only leads us to wonder if these hooligans in black uniform (read lawyers) are getting a free hand to carry out such extremist activities that bring shame to the advocate community as a whole. The government is clearly not doing enough to rein in the hooliganism with the media merely turning sitting ducks at the hands of these lawyers. The fact that the lawyers are close to the politicians gives them more power and dare to embark on such violent acts.