Turning the City Civil Court complex into a battle zone, lawyers today attacked mediapersons and police, leaving at least 20 injured, leading to a lathicharge and lobbing of teargas shells. The advocates protesting the presence of mediapersons covering appearance of former minister and mining magnate G Janardhana Reddy in an illegal mining case, pelted stones at them after ugly scenes of scuffles and wordy duels.
A heavy posse of police personnel posted for security in the complex were initially slow to respond to the unprovoked attack on journalists, but sprung into action when they themselves became the target of the advocates.
Water bottles, chairs, helmets and anything they could lay their hands on were freely used as missiles by the advocates to attack journalists and policemen. The tense situation disrupted proceedings in several court halls. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Division) Ramesh was also injured in the violence.
Some OB vans were damaged in stone pelting, police said. The attack evoked state-wide protests by journalist organisations in all 30 districts, including in Bangalore. As the lawyers' conduct sparked public outrage against them and the government, chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda held a meeting with Home Minister R Ashoka and his department officials. He directed police to submit a report to him by this evening and initiate stringent action against advocates responsible for the violence.