Over four dozen persons, including lawyers, cops and onlookers, received injuries following a clash between lawyers and policemen outside the Collectorate campus in Allahabad on Thursday.
According to eyewitnesses, cops overturned lawyers' furniture, broke typewriters and even indulged in brickbatting. A stone also hit an election observer's vehicle which was entering the collectorate campus.
The trouble erupted from the petrol pump side of the Collectorate, when an Independent candidate Manoj Dube, who is also a lawyer, reached near a barricading along with several of his supporters to file nomination from the City West Vidhan Sabha constituency.
The cops, however, allowed only 10 persons with the Independent candidate as per EC directives inside the gate. In the meantime, another lawyer Luxmi Kant Misra allegedly crossed over the barricading and started moving towards the Collectorate.
Station officer George Town rushed to stop him. Initially, there was some scuffle between Misra and the cops, as the latter thought him to be one of the supporters of Manoj Dube. The lawyer was given couple of lathi blows. Stunned at the sudden onslaught on him, the lawyer reportedly shouted for help from other lawyers. While all this was going on, Rajesh Yadav, an under-trial from Naini Central Jail, who had also come to file his nomination, started walking towards the petrol pump end. However, inspector Colonelganj rushed to stop him and asked him to leave from the other end.
Some lawyers, who mistook Rajesh Yadav as their colleague, pounced on the inspector on the impression that the cop was manhandling him.
This created more trouble and the cops resorted to canecharge. The lawyers were chased and beaten by the cops and were kept away for over an hour. According to sources, SSP BD Paulson was on the campus when all this happened.
Retaliating to it, lawyers came on the road in front of the Collectorate and started shouting slogans against the police. They were demanding action against station officer George Town and inspector Colonelganj for assault on their colleagues. Lawyers, who had later assembled in large numbers staged a dharna on the road. General Secretary District Bar Association (DBA) Sheetla Prasad Misra demanded strict punishment for the guilty cops.