New Delhi: Madras High Court has been locked after shoot-at-sight orders were issued in Tamil Nadu against agitators found damaging public property.
There is a heavy deployment of police personnel at the Madras High Court complex, which has been witnessing fierce clashes since Thursday between the police and lawyers.
Chennai Commissioner of Police K Radhakrishnan revealed that on Friday some lawyers wanted to stay inside the High Court complex to protest Thursday’s police action against their colleagues at the court.
“Some lawyers wanted to stay inside the High Court campus. They refused to move out. Then, we made an announcement through public address system that on the direction of Chief Justice of the High Court, all of you (lawyers) should vacate the campus immediately. Few of the lawyers came and they moved out. We will be keeping campus in our control till (until) further orders of Chief justice. We want to maintain law and order,” said Radhakrishnan.
The shoot-at-sight orders were given on Friday after two day of violence between lawyers and police in Chennai.
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The Director General of Police KP Jain’s office issued the order empowering district Superintendent of Police to carry out the Shoot-at-sight order.
“Some anti-social elements were using Thursday’s incidents to damage public property and burn vehicles”, the release said.
The release said strict action would be taken against agitators and added that security has been beefed up across the state after clashes between lawyers and the police at the High Court.
On Friday, agitating lawyers set fire to a fire brigade jeep outside the Madras High Court complex.
They also laid siege to the building, refusing to move out for about an hour on Friday, despite several warnings from the police.
The escalating tension in Chennai forced the Madras High Court acting Chief Justice SJ Mukhopadhyay to step in to control the situation.
The Madras High Court had on Thursday witnessed heavy clashes between lawyers and the police.
Lawyers were protesting the arrest of one of their colleague for attacking Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy. The lawyers also burnt down a police picket inside the court premises.
A group of lawyers pelted Swamy with eggs on Monday (February 16) inside the Madras High Court campus when he had gone for a 15-year-old case.
The legal community had called for a boycott on the Sri Lankan Tamil crisis on Monday.
Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has condemned the violence. He said: “It is very unfortunate and shocking that something like this has happened. I condemn the attacks.”
However, the Supreme Court Bar Association has expressed solidarity with the lawyers and demanded a judicial enquiry into the incident.
President Supreme Court Bar Association, T H Parekh said, “The Supreme Court Bar Association strongly condemns the atrocities by Chennai Police in beating the lawyers and judges, looting the chamber, dragging lawyer from the chambers, damaging the vehicles and the court hall. We extend our solidarity and support to the lawyers. We need judiciary enquiry into the aspect and people who caused this serious incident should be punished.”
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court orders closure of all courts in Tamil Nadu.