In a rare instance, a large number of policemen in Karnataka Friday reported to duty wearing black arm bands to protest the assault by lawyers on their colleagues in Bangalore last Friday.
They, however, removed the black bands after a directive from their chief, Director General of Police Shankar Bidari and disapproval of their action by Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Home Minister R. Ashoka.
The police protest came as hundreds of lawyers from various parts of the state gathered in Bangalore demanding action against police and media for the violent incident that occurred at the civil court complex here March 2.
Work in the many lower courts in Bangalore has been hit for the last one week as lawyers are staying away to press their demand.
The violence, which left around 50 police personnel, 10 media persons and seven lawyers injured, has led to bitterness between media and the lawyers community as each is blaming the other for it.
A large number of media persons had gathered at the court complex in the heart of the city March 2 to cover court appearance of former Bharatiya Janata Party minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy in connection with an illegal mining case.
Media persons say a group of advocates attacked them and police who intervened to protect them. However, lawyers claim that some media persons abused and started the ruckus.
The government’s efforts to end the stand off has not borne result as media persons have rejected the judicial probe and are demanding action against the lawyers.
They have not given up the demand though police have arrested four advocates, who are now out on bail.
However, the government is going ahead with the judicial probe. It has named retired Karnataka High Court judge R.G. Vaidyanathan to probe the violence and report within three months about the people responsible for it and what triggered it.
The government has asked head of the criminal investigation department (CID) Roopak Kumar Dutta to probe the police role in the incident.
On Thursday, family members of police personnel injured in the incident staged a protest at Mahatma Gandhi Circle in the central business district.