A group of lawyers took on the might of jailed don Babloo Srivastava and clashed with the kidnapping kingpin on the premises of a court in Lucknow on Wednesday afternoon.
The group of lawyers brandished semi-automatic pistols while a police contingent remained a mute spectator to the incident.
The attack on the don was a sequel to a dispute between a Babloo aide and one of the lawyers, Jyotiresh Pandey. Pandey had been jailed earlier after executing the killing of a journalist in 2003.
The lawyers held law and order to ransom for over two hours. They damaged vehicles, assaulted commuters and manhandled policemen. Pandey allegedly led the troublemakers.
It all began when Babloo Srivastava, who was brought to court for a hearing, was talking to one of his aides. Around 1.25 pm, Pandey appeared on the scene. He was accompanied by about a dozen colleagues.
Pandey threatened Babloo with elimination if the latter did not stop helping his (Pandey's) rival Vishal Goel. The don ignored the threat and asked other lawyers to take Pandey away.
Babloo's suggestion fuelled Pandey's ire and he started hurling expletives at the don. Babloo caught Pandey and pushed him away as the latter tried to manhandle the don. Meanwhile, Pandey and his associates whipped out pistols and took aim at Babloo Srivastava.
Sensing trouble, Babloo's lieutenant Manjit Singh 'Mange Sardar' snatched a rifle from one of the escorting constables and aimed it at the group of lawyers. While both the groups were engaged in the duel, CO Chowk RN Singh rushed to the spot.
The police intervened and escorted Babloo and Mange to the Vajra vehicle. The lawyers pelted the police vehicle carrying the don with stones. As Babloo left court, the lawyers damaged a Maruti car and several other two-wheelers parked outside. They also assaulted passers-by. The policemen who tried to pacify the troublemakers were also beaten up. The rowdyism continued around the court for over two hours.
Talking to HT, CO RN Singh said Pandey had a tiff with Vishal Goel on February 1. Both Goel and Pandey claimed ownership of prime property in Hussainganj locality in the city. Pandey had even registered a case against Goel and Babloo Srivastava at the local police station, alleging an attack on him.
On Wednesday, the CO said Pandey lodged an FIR against Babloo and Mange at the Wazirganj police station for issuing life threats and engaging in a fight.
During Wednesday's fracas, a group of lawyers dragged a seriously ill minor boy from a rickshaw. The boy was being taken to Balrampur Hospital for quick medical aid when this happened. The lawyers shooed away the rickshaw-puller, forcing the boy's attendant to carry him in his arms.