Lawyers Clash with RPF Personnel in City
An alleged assault on an advocate and his handicapped brother by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) snowballed into tension-filled moments on the District Court grounds in Vanchiyoor on Tuesday evening with advocates clashing with RPF officers and one of the latter firing a shot into the air.
Krishnendu of Thirumala, who is handicapped, has been admitted to a hospital with injuries on his face.
His younger brother Adv Rakendu is practising at the Vanchiyoor court.
“No one was hurt in the firing,” Vanchiyoor police said. Lodging their protest in the incident, the Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association has called for a state-level boycott of the courts on Wednesday.
According to one version, the brothers were on their way to Kochi and had boarded the 2.20 pm Chennai Mail at the Thiruvananthapuram Central station. Rakendu had got down from the train when he was confronted by two women ticket examiners who were accompanied by RPF constables. As he was explaining to them that the ticket was with his brother, the train started moving. Krishnendu SMS-ed the ticket details to his brother but the railway officials were reportedly not satisfied with his explanation.
This led to an altercation and Rakendu was taken to the RPF office. In the meantime, Krishnendu got down in Kollam and rushed back to Thiruvananthapuram. As they were being questioned, an RPF constable allegedly assaulted Krishnendu. By then other advocates who had assembled there, demanded that they be produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate first.
As court hours had ended, it was decided that the men would be produced before the Magistrate at his quarters. The car with the RPF officers and the two men however stopped near the Magistrate’s Office Complex, where the fight broke out between the lawyers and the RPF men. RPF CI Rajesh had pulled out his revolver and fired a shot into the air at 6.20 pm. The spent shell was handed over to District and Sessions Judge B Sudheendra Kumar by the lawyers. A police jeep which was parked nearby was also damaged in the clash.
Later top police officials, including Commissioner H Venkatesh, rushed to the spot and held a meeting with the District and Sessions Judge. The Commissioner said it was decided to register one case at the moment and conduct the investigation. The RPF reportedly suspended a constable, James, in connection with the assault. RPF officials were unavailable for comment. Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association secretary S S Balu said in a statement that the RPF CI had “without any provocation, fired at the advocates”. This officer, according to him, was brought under control by other RPF constables and policemen.