BANGALORE: After remaining a mute spectator to Lawyers’ protest that brought traffic in the Central Business District of the city to a grinding halt for over seven hours on Tuesday, the State Government presented a soft defence on Wednesday.
Replying to questions about the lack of immediate action to resolve the issue, Home Minister R Ashok merely blamed city police. Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, on the other hand, lauded the Home Department, claiming that it indeed took a ‘firm stance’ on the issue.
“The public always has huge expectations from us and wants us to take immediate action. But sound governance is all about resolving the issue amicably, instead of provoking protesters further. The Home Department took a firm stance on the issue and has tried to take action accordingly. Cases have been filed against all lawyers who were involved in the protest that caused problems for the traffic,” he said.
"We tried to talk to advocates. I met the police officers on Tuesday evening. The DGP too held a meeting with the lawyers on Wednesday. However, if talks do not yield results, then we will have to take the legal route too. We do not believe that all issues can be solved by the stick (lathi). We are a people-friendly government and we will try to peacefully talk to them.” The CM further reiterated that it was not the fear of legal action from the lawyers, that made the government take the defensive route. “We are not scared of the lawyers, we are more scared of the press. If we would have dealt with the situation harshly, then the press would have attacked us the next day,” he clarified.
Home and Transport Minister R Ashok further affirmed that the matter spiralled out of control, but washed his hands off the issue. “The DGP and the Police Commissioner are in the capacity to handle the situation themselves. We have received information that the lawyers are planning to protest again today. We will have to wait and see what happens,” Ashok said.
Meanwhile, on being questioned about the suspended cop, Ashok added, “We will investigate the matter and if the media puts pressure, then the suspended cop would be reinstated too.”