India: 20 injured as lawyers and civic staff clash in Calcutta’s Howrah

April 25, 2019

Police lathi charges a lawyer during a clash between lawyers and employees of the Howrah Municipal Corporation on Wednesday. Pictures by Bishwarup Dutta

Lawyers and staff of the Howrah district court and employees of the Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) fought a pitched battle for hours on Wednesday over parking of vehicles at the civic headquarters.

At least 20 people were injured after being hit by flying stones and police batons during the clash on Mahatma Gandhi Road. Four of them — civic employees Ranjib Halder and Ashish Dinda and lawyers Sujan Bhakt and S. Chakrabarty — have been admitted to hospital with head injuries.

The court did not function for most of the day. At the corporation, employees who were stuck inside were trying to figure out how to leave as all the gates were locked.

Vehicles were not allowed on some of the roads leading to the court and the civic office from well before noon, forcing many to walk long stretches and others to take a detour.

Traffic crawled on some of the major arteries, such as Howrah Station Road, Salkia Road and Foreshore Road, till late in the evening. Schoolchildren had to walk down Bankim Setu in the afternoon sun as violence raged on the road below.

The warring sides have threatened to continue with their agitation on Thursday. Police have started two cases based on a complaint and a counter-complaint.

The police said an altercation between an elderly lawyer and a man guarding a gate of the civic headquarters around 10.30am triggered the fight. The situation became normal around 8.30pm. (HINDI) (HINDI)


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