This is what I saw in the City Civil Court, Bangalore, yesterday:
First some media persons were holding tube-lights and waiting to beat advocates. Then there was fight between a group of media persons and a group of lawyers. Then police came and said lawyers should go inside the court and press should be outside.
Then the police joined with the press and pelted stones at advocates. One advocate fell due to the stone pelting by the press and when other advocates tried helping him, police started beating the advocates. Advocates were told that 3 advocates are dead and taken in 4 ambulances.
At the same time Kannada Media Channels were showing only police and media person are affected. In the mean time advocates and judges were locked inside the premises by the police and the police started firing, beating advocates and calling advocates saying “come, we will teach you a lesson today”. Then police threw stones from outside the court and the windows broke and an advocate arguing in court-hall 1 was hit by a stone either thrown by the press or the police.
I saw the Kannada news channels that were blaming the advocates and not even allowing the advocates to take part in the discussion by saying that you should not take law into your hands and you should only use your mouth to argue.
May be all three (advocates, police, media) are wrong, I do not know, but I have these questions:
- Was this incident pre-planned and executed by the media and the police to tarnish the image of advocates and show them as despicable, uncivilized and barbaric, to the general public? Why only show advocates in such a bad light?
- Was there collusion between the media and the police?
- Are advocates such a vulnerable community?
- Are the advocates wrong or are they only shown in bad light?
- Why was media publishing provocative speeches and discussions against advocates only and not showing any of the incidents committed by its people and the police?
In the meantime some media persons were successful in getting the legal experts like Santhosh Hegde and some other senior advocates’ opinion on this in order to downgrade the legal profession.
Further, in the late night, a Bowring Hospital doctor says on TV that approximately 30 persons were admitted to the hospital. 7-8 are policemen; 5-6 are press persons and the rest are advocates. That means 15-16 injured persons were advocates! All violence should be condemned very strongly. All injured persons may have families who may be going through a terrible pain right now. My prayers are with them.
I feel Kannada Channels are selectively showing only one-sided reports. No channel is showing how these advocates got injured. There is more to this unfortunate incident than it meets the eye. Who will show the truth about how the advocates including judges got injured and how this incident started? How is this incident connected with Mr Janardhana Reddy’s appearance in court? There should be a judicial enquiry on this incident. Meantime, let all the parties show restraint. Let the truth come out!
One more thing I would like to mention here. Hon’ble judges Mr. Shreedhar Rao, Mr. K.L.Manjunath, Mr. Govindarajulu, Mr. Nagamohandas et al, personally came and took the risk of pacifying the enraged amid such an explosive situation and even they were shocked when they saw one of the judge was hurt and had sustained injuries. They virtually prayed for peace, despite, police autrociously vandalized.