Howrah Lawyer-Police Face Off: Bar Council Of WB Demands Cops’ Arrest, To Observe Black Day, Cease Work

A day after lawyers and Howrah Municipal Corporation staff fought pitched battle over parking with lawyers being assaulted and chased away by police personnel, the Bar Council of West Bengal on Thursday resolved to cease work till April 29 and observe black day throughout the State on Friday.

Chairman of Bar Council of West Bengal, Ashok Kumar Deb, who is also a Member of Legislative Assembly from the ruling All India Trinamool Congress, said the Bar stands in solidarity with the lawyers at Howrah who were assaulted by the police personnel following a face-off with the staff of Howrah Municipal Corporation over vehicle parking and demanded action against the cops who attacked lawyers, judicial officers and employees of Howrah court.

In an emergency meeting called on Thursday, the Bar Council of West Bengal resolved as under:

  1. To cease work till April 29 against the atrocities of the police at Howrah court.
  2. Demand arrest of the accused police personnel who brutally tortured/ assaulted the advocates, staff and judicial officers of Howrah court and ransacked the Bar Library, several courtrooms, and shops.
  3. Delegates of the Bar Council will be meeting the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on April 30 in wake of April 24 incident.
  4. The Bar Association of West Bengal will wear black badges to protest against police atrocities on lawyers and observe black day throughout the state on April 26.
  5. A large delegate of State Bar Council will be visiting Howrah court on April 26 to express solidarity with the advocates working there.

This morning, the members of the District Bar Association & District Advocate’s Bar Association, Barasat observed a pen-down strike and also called an extra-ordinary General meeting seeking the intervention of West Bengal Law Minister Moloy Ghatak.

The Bar Association recorded a protest against the “obnoxious high handedness and atrocity of police personnel” and demanded action against the cops.

“Police personnel under Howrah Police station unearthed savage invasion upon a section of advocates at Howrah without any provocation…when advocates at large assembled to raise protest peacefully, police personnel invaded with poles and sticks and tear gas shells. Such heinous act caused severe injuries to the advocates and most of them had to be admitted in the hospital,” it said.

The Bar sent a copy of the resolution to Ghatak demanding action against the police personnel involved in the incident.

On Wednesday, lawyers and the Howrah civic staff fought a pitched battle for hours after an elderly lawyer was turned away by the guard of the civic headquarters on Mahatma Gandhi Road as he tried to park his vehicle in the civic agency’s compound. After a quarrel, many lawyers joined him and protested against the guard insulting the elderly lawyer.

The matter escalated. The lawyers claim they were attacked by the civic agency staff.

The staff, on the other hand claims they were attacked first.

The fight saw both sides pelting stones and bricks.

The police intervened and chased away lawyers.

The attack saw as many as 20 persons including the civic agency staff and the lawyers receiving head injuries.


Md Sahabuddin Mondal

Junior Advocate, Calcutta High Court

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