Agitating Lawyers Begin Picketing In Cuttack, Close Govt Offices

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Cuttack: Intensifying the agitation against police excesses, the lawyers of High Court Bar Association on Tuesday began picketing in front of all government offices.

According to reports, the lawyers stopped court work and closed offices of the district collector, State Transport Authority (STA), Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) and the banks.

Briefing mediapersons on Monday night, President of the High Court Bar Association Srikant Nayak said about 1500 representatives of the lawyers’ associations across the state would gherao Naveen Niwas on September 27 and submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister.

A decision to this effect was taken at the executive committee of the Association.

He also said that the Association in a letter had sought time for a discussion with the Chief Minister. “Since there has been no response from the Chief Minister till date, the Association has decided to close all government offices in Cuttack,” he pointed out.

The Association had earlier met the Law minister and requested him to take necessary action. But the minister is yet to take any step.

It may be recalled that some policemen had an argument with the lawyer Debi Prasad Patnaik following a road accident at Nua Bazaar overbridge on the night of August 28. The argument later took a violent turn with the policemen assaulting Patnaik.

Protesting the police excesses, a group of lawyers had allegedly set a PCR van on fire in front of the RDC office on the next day.

Hearing the two petitions filed by Orissa High Court Bar Association and Nationalist Lawyers’ Association, the Orissa High Court on September 4 had ordered a Crime Branch (CB) investigation into the incident.

Both the associations had prayed the court for an inquiry by a sitting judge and arrest of the erring policemen.

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