Members of the Amritsar Bar Association on Saturday held a demonstration outside the Rambagh police station alleging that the police had registered a ‘weak’ FIR in connection with a murderous attack on a lawyer.
They were led by former executive members of the association — Lovely Sharma and Raman Chowdhry. They raised slogans against the police authorities and threatened to stage a protest outside the Police Commissioner’s office on Monday in case the police failed to take appropriate action in this regard.
They said on February 12, advocate Rahul Sethi, who is also an executive member of the association, was attacked by a group of persons with sharp-edged weapons. However, the police registered an FIR under weak sections of the Indian Penal Code and did not include sections of murder bid and no accused was arrested till now. They said if the police failed to make necessary amendments in the FIR they would hold a demonstration outside the Police Commissioner’s office.
In a statement condemning the brutal murder, Telangana Bar Council chairman A Narasimha Reddy said the country is witnessing frequent attacks on advocates and urged the government to enact the Advocates Protection Act to safeguard the lawyers’ community.
The brutal murder of advocates Gattu Vamana Rao and his wife PV Nagamani on a busy highway in Peddapalli district earlier this week, has led to widespread protests from lawyers across the Telangana. Several petitions have been filed before the courts, even as advocates abstained from their duties and took to the streets blocking roads and holding candlelight vigils.
In a statement condemning the brutal murder, Telangana Bar Council chairman A Narasimha Reddy said the country is witnessing frequent attacks on advocates and urged the government to enact the Advocates Protection Act to safeguard the lawyers’ community. Vamana Rao’s father has sought a CBI probe alleging larger political conspiracy in the murders.
On Thursday, Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra called the incident ‘an onslaught on the freedom of the profession’. In a press release, he said “the frequent threats and attacks on the lawyers have established that the Advocates are not at all safe anywhere in the country. It is proving to be exceedingly difficult and even fatal for the Advocates taking up the peoples cause.”
This is the echo across the fraternity in the state too. Stating the morale of advocates across the state is down since the incident, Manjusha Ettovoni, former vice-president of the Hyderabad City Civil Court Advocates Association, said advocates are like other professionals who discharge their duties, and it should be without any fear. “This incident has sent shivers down our spines. I have 40 young interns, most of the parents want them to quit the profession and go back. The terror associated with the incident will further alienate young lawyers, especially women, from fighting for justice. The incident also shows that it should be the responsibility of the government to protect them,” she said.