Work in the Andhra Pradesh High Court and courts across Telangana was paralysed on Wednesday as lawyers from the region demanding 42 per cent share in government-appointed posts in the judiciary continued their boycott for the second day.
Tension prevailed at the high court as lawyers from civil and criminal courts in the state capital and from courts in other parts of Telangana started arriving at the complex to express solidarity with three of their colleagues, on the third day of their indefinite hunger strike.
As they continued their protest, advocates expressed solidarity with them and staged a sit-in outside the court building.
Police stopped protesting lawyers at the main gate of the complex, leading to strong protests. Accusing police of high handedness, the lawyers alleged that the police were turning the high court into another Osmania University.
Some lawyers climbed atop the walls and the gate to enter the premises. Police also stopped Telangana leader Kavita, daughter of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao, who had arrived there to show her solidarity.
Raising slogans of Jai Telangana, the protestors sat on the road throwing traffic out of gear in the busy area on the banks of Musi river. Police forces were mobilised in large numbers to prevent any untoward incident.
The high court authorities banned the entry of people without identity cards. Lawyers and staff are being allowed into the premises only after they produce their identity cards while it has been made compulsory for litigants to show their documents.
The restrictions were imposed following Tuesday's incident when protesting advocates threw placards at a judge, Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy, in his court and broke the glasspanes of a cupboard and a few chairs. Some senior advocates escorted the judge to his chambers, averting an ugly situation.
At the Nampally Metropolitan Criminal Court, the advocates staged sit-in at the entrance shouting slogans. About 1,000 lawyers at the court boycotted their duties, bringing the court work to a standstill.
"We will continue our protest till the government gives our due share of 42 per cent in posts of government pleaders, assistant government pleaders and standing counsels of various corporations," G Rajavardhan Reddy, general secretary, Bar Association at Metropolitan Criminal Court, told IANS.
He claimed that the representation of Telangana in the government nominated posts is not even five per cent. He said 42 per cent share was promised to the region under an agreement following Telangana's merger with then Andhra state to form Andhra Pradesh in 1956.