Hyderabad, Sep 6: Lawyers from Seemandhra and Telangana regions Friday clashed at the Andhra Pradesh High Court complex.
Four lawyers were injured in the clashes between two groups staging protests in the high court premises over the state’s prposed bifurcation, police and eyewitnesses said.
Tension prevailed in the high court premises and surrounding areas when the two groups clashed.
Trouble broke out when Telangana lawyers allegedly tried to stop lawyers from Seemandhra – the Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions of the state – who had formed a human chain near the bar council office to demand that the Congress party withdraw its decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
The two sides raised slogans and counter slogans and clashed with each other. Police had to intervene to bring the situation under control. Dozens of lawyers from both the regions were arrested.
Lawyers from Telangana had given a call for ‘Chalo high court’ – march to high court – to demand that the centre expedite the process for formation of separate Telangana state.
The rival groups later submitted their petitions to Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta, blaming either group for the attacks.
State secretariat and some other government offices in Hyderabad have been witnessing tense situation due to protests and counter protests for the past one month but this is the first time that lawyers from the two regions came to blows at the high court.
State Law Minister E. Pratap Reddy termed the incidents at the high court as unfortunate. He called for dialogue between elders of the two regions to cool the tempers.
Seemandhra employees, lawyers and others living in Hyderabad are opposed to bifurcation of the state. The incidents took place a day before ‘Save Andhra Pradesh’ meeting of Seemandhra employees in Hyderabad.
Telangana groups have called for 24-hour Telangana shutdown from Friday midnight to protest what they call anti-Telangana attitude of the state government in allowing Seemandhra meeting while denying them permission to hold peace rallies.