Ramakanta Biswas

Police have arrested as many as 17 lawyers in connection with the alleged vandalism of the chamber of a district judge during a protest in Sambalpur district on Monday over demand for the establishment of Orissa High Court bench in the district.   

While 12 lawyers were arrests late last night, five more arrests were made today. Nine of them were later sent to jail after the rejection of their bail petitions. 

Sambalpur superintendent of police (SP) B Gangadhar said that others involved in the incident will be arrested after examining footage from the CCTV cameras. 

“Three cases were filed at Town Police station in connection with yesterday’s incident. So far, we have arrested 12 persons for vandalism at the district judge’s chamber. Nine of them were forwarded to the court and subsequently remanded to judicial custody,” Gangadhar told OTV over phone.

“We will take further action. More CCTV and video footage will be analysed and strong legal action will certainly be taken against those violated the law,” he added.  

The SP further said that Section 144 of CrPC has been clamped at Kacheri Chhak, the protest site, to maintain the law and order and action will be taken if anyone enters the 200 metres radius of the prohibited area.

Yesterday, the Bar Council of India suspended the licences of 29 agitating lawyers after taking the 'act of vandalism and unrest' by the protesting lawyers of Sambalpur District Bar Association into cognizance. The licences have been cancelled with immediate effect for a period of 18 months.

Reported by Sanjay Jena, OTV