As many as 12 lawyers of the Sambalpur Bar Association were arrested by Sambalpur Police for alleged vandalism at the district judge’s chamber in Odisha on Monday. The accused were demanding the setting up of a High Court bench in the district.

The Bar Council of India has reportedly suspended the license of 29 agitating lawyers for 18 months.

Sambalpur Superintendent of Police B Gangadhar said three cases were filed at the Town Police station following the incident which involved damaging court properties.

“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 in judicial custody,” said Gangadhar. “More people will be arrested after scanning the CCTV,” he added.

To maintain law and order in the area, Section 144 of CrPC has been clamped at Kacheri Chhak. Strict action would be taken against those who enter within 200 metres of the prohibited area.

The apex court took the matter seriously and directed the state police to take strict action against the accused lawyers.

“If the police are unable to control it, we will send paramilitary forces. We will ask the Centre for it. You (police) better pull up your socks,” said the bench.

The top court also directed both Director General of Police of State (DGP) Sunil Bansal and Inspector General of Police (IGP) to appear via video conference on Wednesday to clarify the steps taken by them against the accused lawyers.


India today