Sambalpur/Bhubaneswar: Sixteen lawyers have been arrested including local bar association president Pramod Kumar Rath and secretary Bijitendriya Pradhan here today in connection with the alleged lawyer-collector scuffle on last Monday. Similarly, four persons have been taken into custody for their alleged involvement in the district sub-registrar office attack case. The number of arrested persons remains 18 since two of the four arrested in the latter case have also been named in the former case. On the other hand, all government establishments and court remained closed today in Samabalpur as district lawyers association called for a bandh demanding a permanent High Court bench in western Odisha. To maintain law and order situation, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements at several vulnerable places of the city. Later all the arrested lawyers were released on bail.
The lawyers on April 23 had allegedly ransacked Sambalpur district collector Mrinalini Darswal`s residential office and allegedly abused her over a dispute relating to hike in the land registration fee. The lawyers had also allegedly attacked the office of the deputy sub-registrar and assaulted him while protesting the increase in registration fee.