Fresh trouble broke out at the Andhra Pradesh High Court Friday as a group of agitating lawyers tried to break into the court complex and clashed with police.
Some lawyers, a police officer and a mediaperson were injured in the clash that broke out after a large number of lawyers from city, civil and criminal courts reached the high court in a rally to press for their demand for 42 percent share for Telangana in the appointments of judicial officers.
Tension mounted as the protesters raising slogans of “Jai Telangana” tried to force their way into the court complex but were stopped by a contingent of policemen at the main entrance.
The lawyers had heated arguments with the police saying they had every right to enter the court. The police officers pointed out that the entry of lawyers was restricted only to those practicing at the high court and carrying identity cards. The argument led to pushing and jostling between the two sides.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Telangana lawyers alleged that police manhandled them, resulting in injuries to some protesters. The Police Officers’ Association also claimed that a police officer was injured.
Despite the massive police security at the court, the situation remained tense for the fourth day. Police forcibly removed the mediapersons from the court premises. One cameraman was injured in the police action.
An unprecedented crisis persists at the high court as one of the judges who submitted his resignation Thursday to protest the attitude of lawyers refused to withdraw it. Earlier reports had suggested that the judge had agreed to withdraw his resignation.
Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy, who came to the court in the morning, returned home without hearing any case. Chief Justice Nisar Ahmed Kakru tried to persuade him to withdraw his resignation.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah also spoke to the judge over the phone, requesting him to withdraw his resignation.
The JAC leaders have accepted the government’s invitation for talks. The meeting between the lawyers and a cabinet sub-committee formed to sort out the issue will be held Friday evening.
In a late-night action, police forcibly removed three lawyers from Telangana who were on fast for the past four days within the high court premises.
The fasting lawyers, who were shifted to the Gandhi Hospital, were Thursday evening booked for attempt to commit suicide. They were booked for going on an indefinite fast at the office of the advocate general in the high court premises.
Over 2,000 policemen were deployed around the court complex as authorities moved to resume court work after three days of protest and violence by Telangana lawyers.
Only lawyers with identity cards and clients carrying documents were allowed inside the high court premises.