Lawyers & policemen gear up for a major fracas

Cuttack: The faceoff between men in black coats and men in khaki of Cuttack city is assuming serious proportion as instead of scaling down the controversy between the two custodians of law, attempts were made on Friday to up their ante against each other.

Both sides are now out to gather strength for a major confrontation ahead urging their fellow colleagues across the state to join the issue.

Demanding action against the policeman who allegedly assaulted a city-based advocate, lawyers of the city boycotted their respective courts and are planning to rope in lawyers across the state to follow suit.

On the other hand, policemen of the city, under the aegis of Odisha Police Association (OPA) met the state DGP on the day and threatened to go on mass leave, if action against any policeman is taken over the issue unilaterally without a proper enquiry.

"We urged the DGP to apprise the state government for ordering a judicial enquiry into the matter," said the OPA president Sawarmal Sharma after OPA delegates met the DGP.

"According to our understanding of the matter the concerned police inspector, against whom the lawyers are training their guns, is innocent and did no wrong to the lawyer concerned," Sharma said adding that it was unfortunate that the lawyers are making a "mountain out of a molehill".

A city-based lawyer Nayan Biswal has alleged that the Bidanasi police inspector Rabinarayan Barik had physically assaulted him on February 18 night and made an attempt to force him into the police lock-up. But Barik denies the allegation saying the lawyer in an inebriated condition created vandalism inside the police station and misbehaved with a woman against whom he had made a complaint.

While the Bidanasi police have registered a case against Biswal, the city police, receiving a complaint from several lawyers too have registered a case against the concerned police inspector.

The lawyers of all Cutack bars, including that of the Odisha High Court have decided to boycott courts till Saturday.