The recent attack on the Madras High Court by riot police, did not stop with threatening the physical safety of lawyers. Whether you like them or lump them, lawyers have been at the forefront of public action in support of any public cause. While most of the mainstream media has gone to town seeking to tarnish the image of lawyers in the public eye and indirectly seeking to justify police goondagiri, facts and truth have become a casualty. If anyone has a commitment to neutrality and believes that even those one dislikes have constitutional rights and that assaults on lawyers and judges are an assault on democracy, the rule of law and the constitution, they will seek to unravel the lies that are being propagated by the state and being eagerly lapped up by the mainstream media, whose favourite whipping persons, lawyers seem to have become.
A. Lawyers started attacked police without provocation
B. Lawyers burnt the High Court police station down and therefore the police had to retaliate
C. Police resorted to force to protect judges and public property.
D. Hundreds of police personnel injured.
1. A large posse of regular policemen, and battalions of the Swift Action Group were deployed in close proximity to the Campus, inspite of the fact that there was no strike or boycott of courts in progress
2. more than 500 police personnel started an indiscriminate lathi charge on all and sundry in the court campus, including judges!
3. Police personnel broke windows and doors, furniture, damaged cars and motorcycles, and it was clear that the riot police were the rioters!!
4. Police continued their assault on lawyers, court staff and the general public not only within the court campus but also in the neighbouring streets of Parrys corner, targetting lawyers' offices, tailors servicing lawyers and even photocopying establishments.
5. While there was sporadic stone throwing against the police in retaliation to the lathi charge, stones were brought in and used by the police personnel.
6. It was lawyers who protected judges from assault from the police.
7. The Acting Chief Justice's calls to the police were not even answered for more than an hour.
8. Lawyers had to seek refuge in judges' chambers and even here the police attempted entry and assault.
9. More than 100 lawyers were injured and from the nature of injuries, it was clear that the police had targeted the heads of lawyers.
10. The High Court has made it clear that no permission was sought from it for the police to enter the premises or carry out any lathi charge.
11. A division bench of the High Court has also termed news reports as misleading.
These are facts as even anyone who is neutral can see it and borne out for the most part by judges, unless you prefer to be led by a biased media and a perspective independent of fact.
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