BANGALORE: Facing heat from the media over its 'inaction', police today arrested four advocates in connection with attack on media personnel by a section of lawyers during the mayhem that rocked the city civil court.
The arrests came after the media in the state rejected the judicial probe into yesterday's attack as an "eyewash" and demanded that the guilty advocates be brought to book immediately.
Special police squads set up by the police nabbed advocates Ranganath, Somesh, Arun Naik and Santosh, Police Commissioner B G Jyoti Prakash Mirji told reporters here as media stepped up pressure meeting Governor H R Bhardwaj and Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda demanding action.
Mirji said 31 cases of rioting and assault had been registered in connection with the unprovoked attack on the journalists, OB vans and police that left at least 20 persons injured and evoked widespread condemnation.
Police also registered a complaint of assault and robbery filed by the driver of Karnataka High Court Judge K L Manjunath. Driver, M S Jagadeeshaiah, said in his complaint that some advocates beat him when he came to the court complex to drop the Judge and robbed him of a gold chain and a cash of Rs 1,900.
Courts here remained closed today while prohibitory orders were in force around city civil court complex which witnessed violence when lawyers created ruckus before turning violent protesting presence of media persons to cover the appearance of former minister and mining baron Janardhan Reddy in the CBI court in connection with an illegal mining case.
"It was an intelligence failure. Police should have taken precautions," Bhardwaj told a delegation of media persons, which submitted a memorandum to him seeking his intervention to direct the government to initiate action against culprits.
A delegation of private TV news channels met the chief minister and sought immediate action against the guilty.
"We don't accept judicial probe into the incident. This is nothing but an eyewash. The government is trying to evade from its responsibilities," Suvarna News Head Vishweshwar Bhatt told reporters after meeting Gowda.
Rejecting media apprehensions over judicial probe ordered into the incident, Gowda said it was not an attempt to cover up any lapse, but to come out with a permanent solution to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
He said police have been instructed to take stern action and file criminal charges against the culprits.
Bangalore Reporters Guild and print and electronic media took out a rally and submitted a memorandum to the Governor seeking arrest of lawyers involved in the attack.
Police said they have identified about 25 advocates in connection with the violence.
The police have registered FIR under various sections of IPC including 143,147 and 149 (unlawful assembly with deadly weapons and rioting), 307 (attempt to murder) 353 (restraining public servant from discharging his lawful duty), 506 (B) (criminal intimidation), 435 and 437 (mischief and damage to property), 332 and 333 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant on duty) besides section 3(1) of Prevention of Damages of Public Property Act of 1984.