BANGALORE: A section of lawyers went on a rampage on Friday, attacking journalists and policemen, smashing cameras, damaging OB vans and setting fire to vehicles at the City Civil Court complex where former Karnataka minister Janardhana Reddy was brought.
Tension gripped the area as advocates ran riot leaving more than 50 people, including 14 policemen, DCP of central division G Ramesh, 10 journalists, advocates and passersby severely injured, and 50 slightly injured.
After failing to bring the situation under control by lathicharging the advocates, police lobbed teargas shells and shot rubber bullets.
Around 60 two and four-wheelers were damaged and 16 of them were set afire.
Trouble started at the court premises around 10 am when a few advocates manhandled some TV crew. However, police intervened and defused the situation. Meanwhile, when Reddy was being taken out of the court, some advocates started pelting stones at journalists.
Though police intervened, the lawyers did not relent, forcing the police to lathicharge them. The advocates assembled on all the floors of the court and started pelting stones at those below. To prevent casualties, police asked journalists and public to leave the court premises.
Meanwhile, a few advocates started attacking the police. Advocates on the fourth floor of the building dropped a wooden bench, which fell on a KSRP armed constable injuring him severely. They dropped wooden chairs and dustbins.
Some advocates also attacked students of the Government Arts & Science College, who were playing on the adjacent ground. The students then retaliated.
Advocates did not even spare notorious criminals, who had to take cover. They even allegedly assaulted a magistrate who took objection to their behaviour and vandalised his court hall. Magistrates, who started leaving the premises, had to display IDs as some people tried to attack them mistaking them to be advocates. Police provided security at K R Circle and Mysore Bank Circle to ensure smooth passage of advocates who were caught in the court.
Though advocates continued to be violent, police were not allowed by higher-ups to enter the court. Prohibitory orders have been clamped in the area till March 8. Cases of rioting, attempt to murder and other charges were filed against unnamed advocates.