Bangalore court:Lawyers run riot in Bangalore

The injured included Sessions Court judge R.B. Budhihal in a lathi-charge, very a dozen journalists, policemen as well as lawyers. Property worth several lakhs of rupees, motorbikes & cars, was damaged or destroyed in the melee.

The City Civil Court here turned in to a battlefield on Friday as groups of lawyers launched a no-holds-barred assault on journalists who had come to cover the proceedings of the special CBI court where Bellary mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy was produced at 11 a.m.

At least 60 people were treated in various government hospitals in the city.

Judicial probe

When the CBI court proceedings began, the judge ordered journalists to vacate the room. The lawyers then took it on themselves to push journalists out of the premises. Things were calm till the court proceedings concluded.

Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda has ordered a judicial inquiry in to the incident.

 of the first journalists to be hit on Friday was K.N. Kiran, a tv reporter. Even as policemen watched, he was attacked by a group of lawyers around ten.30 a.m. when he tried to enter the court hall. They kept telling me that the beating was for the negative coverage of the January 16 incident [when lawyers had gone on a similar rampage Mr. Kiran told The Hindu.

Then all hell broke loose & lawyers started attacking the journalists with whatever they could find stones, flowerpots, helmets, sticks & furniture.

As soon as Mr. Janardhan Reddy was taken away by the CBI police, the lawyers one time again demanded that all journalists leave the premises. At this point ladies tv reporters walked up to the lawyers & tried to reason with them. But this soon degenerated in to a shouting match as well as a number of the ladies were jostled & groped.

Journalists retaliate

Throughout this the police played a passive role & did not try to contain the lawyers even when missile struck Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Division) G. Ramesh. It was only when Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji came under assault that some constables started a lathi-charge.

The police finally contained the lawyers by surrounding the court complex & launching at least waves of baton charges. But when matters began to settle (around three.30 p.m.), a section of journalists joined some policemen in attacking somebody wearing a white shirt & black trousers. Together, they set fire to several vehicles that bore the sign Advocate.' Some journalists who tried to cease others from resorting to this arson were also thrashed by their own counterparts.
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