Divided by Politics: Odisha HC Turns Battlefield

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court premises virtually turned into a battlefield today as hundreds of advocates jostled with each other amid an ongoing strike against the assault of a lawyer by police two months ago.

HC Lawyers have been protesting since the incident occurred in Cuttack on August 28. They are demanding the arrest of all the police personnel involved in the assault.

Lawyers have refused to end the strike despite a September 27 ruling by the Supreme Court. Today’s standoff occurred after the BJD Legal Front, one of the groups involved in the strike, decided to resume work.

Today hundreds of BJD Legal Front members trying to storm into the high court premises even as advocates affiliated to the Orissa High Court Bar Association (OHCBA) barricaded the gates to prevent their entry. Pitched battles erupted, abuses were hurled and some could be seen falling to the ground in the face-off that ensued.

However the BJD Legal Front lawyers managed to fight their way into the courtrooms. But they were unable to resume work in the absence of witnesses and court staffers.

Police deployed over 25 platoons on the premises to prevent the situation was deteriorating.

The OHCBA has accused the ruling Biju Janata Dal of creating a divide in lawyer unity by asking its affiliate, the BJD Legal Front, to withdraw from the agitation instead of resolving the two-month impasse.

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Odisha Story Bureau
A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, founder-editor of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: editor@odishastory.com
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