2 blasts rock Chhattisgarh HC

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Bilaspur, Sep 4 (UNI) The Chhattisgarh High Court building here was rocked by two successive blasts in the forenoon today and pamphlets were found containing a threat to blow up the Court.

There, however, was no casualty reported.

The explosions, set off using firecrackers ('sutli' bombs), took place on the first floor of the ancient building that earlier housed a school.

Several identical computer-printout pamphlets, purportedly issued by 'Peedit Adhivaktagan' (victimised advocates) and containing personal allegations against Justice Satish Agnihotri, were found on the terrace and in the lobby close to Chief Justice Rajeev Gupta's chamber.

Justice Agnihotri was posted here from Delhi about three years back and hailed from the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh's Satna district.

''The pamphlets warned the judge to 'go back' and accused him of a superiority complex that led to undermining other jurists,'' said Inspector-General of Police (Bilaspur Range) Rajeev Chandra Shrivastav.

The first blast took place on the terrace of Justice T P Sharma's courtroom about 45 minutes after the day's work began.

Consequently, panic prevailed in Chhattisgarh's second-largest town.

''A police team led by SP Vivekanand Sinha reached the spot and investigation revealed that 'sutli' bombs were used to cause the blasts,'' Mr Shrivastav said.

Justice Agnihotri previously used the chamber over which the explosions were set off.

Immediately after the blasts, hearings were suspended in the two adjoining courtrooms and the judges retreated to their antechambers.

Court sources quoted the Chief Justice as expressing ''extreme concern'' over the incident and several lawyers also demanded immediate action against the printer.

The pamphlets warned that the High Court would be blasted, if Justice Agnihotri did not 'go back'.

Photocopies of the pamphlets also landed in the hands of some lawyers, including Advocate Satish Chandra Verma, who handed over one to the police and sought action against the printer.

After Chhattisgarh came into existence on November 1, 2000, the Court was set up in the old two-storey building that earlier housed the Normal School, a few kilometres from the railway station. Several districts of this state are in the grip of naxalism.


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