20 Feb :The lawyers’ agitation spilled over to the Tamil Nadu assembly on Friday with the entire opposition being marshalled out as police detained around 145 advocates when they attempted to march to the assembly protesting police action against them at the Madras High Court.
The ruling DMK government followed up on its decision to go for a CBI probe into the High Court mayhem by making an announcement in this regard in the assembly.
In Madurai, a lawyers’ procession to condemn the lathicharge on their colleagues at the Madras High Court turned violent with a section of the rallyists pelting stones at the DIG office in Chennai.
In the assembly, Speaker R Avudiyappan ordered the eviction of slogan-raising members of AIADMK, MDMK, CPI and CPI-M stalled proceedings demanding a debate on Thursday’s violent clash.
Making a statement, Law Minister Durai Murugan said the state government would send a formal communication to the CBI for a probe into the violence.
Prabhakaran, head of the Tamil Nadu Lawyers’ Association, said "the advocates will continue to boycott the court". He alleged that yesterday’s police action against the lawyers was "pre-planned and motivated".
Tamil Nadu DGP K P Jain defended the police action saying "we had been witness to what happened in the High Court and before that also, there has been a lot of lawlessness… when there is lawlessness, we have to act…and we were absolutely authorised to be there.
Trouble had erupted when police had tried to pick up a group of lawyers who had allegedly attacked Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy inside a court room on Tuesday for his anti-LTTE stance.
Other lawyers protested police action against their colleagues and soon it became a pitched battle between lawyers and the police leaving scores injured, among them a senior judge, lawyers, journalists, policement and onlookers.
Describing the incident as an unwanted one, Murugan said the CBI was being asked to probe the events for an unbiased inquiry into the chain of events that culminated in the clashes.
The House witnessed noisy scenes as the entire opposition members were on their feet and shouted slogans after the Speaker rejected demands for a discussion on the clashes.
The opposition, headed by AIADMK, and supported by its allies created a ruckus following which the Speaker warned them of eviction.
As the members continued to raise slogans demanding a debate on the issue even after the Speaker’s repeated requests, he ordered their eviction.
Murugan said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had conveyed his regrets to Swamy over the incident through the IG Intelligence and assured him that appropriate action will be taken.
Scattered glass pieces and damaged vehicles in the High Court premises bore testimony to Thursday’s clashes.
Agitating lawyers burnt copies of some dailies in the court complex alleging bias against advocates in the media coverage.
A group of advocates at the George Town court, close to the High Court, pelted stones at passing vehicles and shouted slogans demanding action against police personnel.
Effigies of the Janata Party President and the state DGP were burnt in Kumbakonam and Madurai. Three buses parked in the high court bench in Madurai were burnt overnight.
Cases have been registered against 150 advocates in connection with last night’s clashes.
They have been charged with assault of three police personnel, preventing them from doing their duty, damaging public property and burning a police out post at the high court bench complex.
In Puducherry, lawyers while burning Swamy’s effigy also condemned "police excesses" during the clash here. They held a demonstration for some time and dispersed, police said adding no arrests had been made.
A report from Tirunelveli said a bus was gutted in a fire on Friday afternoon in the district court complex at Palayamkottai.