Jaipur/Chandigarh, March 6: Clashes Wednesday between agitating lawyers and police in Jaipur and Chandigarh left nearly a dozen people injured.
Lawyers and police officers were among the injured in clashes outside the state assembly in Jaipur during the ongoing budget session, officials said Wednesday.
To draw attention to their demands, lawyers breached security barricades put up by the police and marched towards the assembly building. Police resorted to baton charging and used tear gas to disperse agitators who hurled stones at policemen, officials said.
In Chandigarh, police used force and water cannons to disperse agitating lawyers.
Agitated over their colleagues being named in a police case, lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court clashed with police near the Punjab Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh Wednesday.
The high court lawyers, who have stopped working since Tuesday, are demanding cancellation of a first information report (FIR) lodged against senior lawyer Rupinder Singh Khosla and 19 other advocates by the police.
Chandigarh police had Monday booked Khosla and 19 other lawyers for allegedly assaulting a police head constable and later ransacking a security room at the high court complex.
Khosla, a former additional advocate general of the Punjab government, had an argument with the head constable over entry into the high court complex. The argument soon resulted in a clash and the policeman was allegedly thrashed by lawyers.
A police probe into the incident blamed the lawyers for vandalising the security room and beating up the policeman.
The lawyers, who were protesting near the Raj Bhawan and had blocked the road for the entire day, continued to agitate till Wednesday evening. They said that they will remain on strike Thursday.
Around 300 lawyers marched from the high court complex in Chandigarh to the Raj Bhavan to meet Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, who is also the administrator of Chandigarh.
They staged a protest near Raj Bhavan and refused to move until Patil met them. Later, they clashed with police who had to use batons and water canons to force them to leave the high-security zone.
In Jaipur, a senior police officer told IANS: “The lawyers had gathered at the Rajasthan High Court building in large groups. The court building is hardly half a kilometre from the assembly. We had put up some security barricades as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was presenting the budget in the assembly at the time.”
“The lawyers suddenly started pelting stones, leading to injuries to several policemen, including a deputy commissioner of police. Police had to use tear gas to disperse the agitators,” the officer said.
The clashes continued intermittently between lawyers and policemen for almost two hours. At least half a dozen lawyers were injured.
A lawyer said: “We wanted to draw the attention of the state government towards long-pending demands of lawyers.”
The demands included a residential project on subsidised rates for lawyers, allowance of Rs.2,000 per month for lawyers with less than five years of experience, allocation of Rs.10 crore to the Rajasthan Lawyers’ Welfare Board and a Lawyers’ Welfare Act, he added.