Sharmili Mallick

The members of the District Bar Association in Jagatsinghpur on Wednesday observed a day-long cease work stir protesting the alleged illegal arrest of a colleague and police torture on him.

Kujang and Tirtol bar association also extended support to the work boycott agitation. As a result, majority of work in almost all the courts in the district came to a grinding halt.

According to reports, a case under Section 498A (dowry harassment) has been registered against the lawyer, Ramanath Panda at the Jagatsinghpur Police Station following an FIR from his wife.

On Sunday midnight, Jagatinghpur Police reportedly picked up Panda from his house and took him to the police station for interrogation where he was allegedly beaten up and manhandled by the cops. He was forwarded to the court and shifted to jail the next day.

However, the Jagatsinghpur District Judge Court granted him bail on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Bar Association, after learning about Panda's case, held a meeting in this regard to stage demonstration to protest the police atrocity.

“Police barged into my house at around 2 am and took me to the police station without any prior information. Later, they made me sit on the floor with the other accused. I demand action the officers who insulted me at the police station,” Panda alleged in his reaction to the media.

Similarly, President of the Jagatsinghpur District Bar Association, Gagan Chandra Dash said, “As per the Section 11 of The Advocates Act - Staff of Bar Council, police should have apprised the Chief Judicial Magistrate in written before the arrest but it did not follow the protocol. Our colleague who was arrested in the 498A (dowry harassment) case was made to sit on the floor with other accused and brutally assaulted by the police. They (cops) tortured, pushed and even pulled his hair. We condemn the action of the police and demand an inquiry into the matter,” Dash demanded.

On the other hand, Jagatsinghpur Police Station IIC, Prabhas Sahoo said that a probe will reveal the lapses into the matter.

“If there any allegations against the police, the higher-ups will enquire the matter. If the charges are true, appropriate legal action will be taken,” said Dash.