Angry with the abduction and murder of their colleague Devendra Khandelwal, lawyers boycotted work and allegedly beat three of the accused persons who were produced in court on Tuesday. Police are still looking for the remaining two absconding persons who were involved in the murder.
The lawyers, who had been staging a demonstration since morning on the district court premises shouted 'Maro, maro' (beat, beat) even as the three accused — Rupesh Sharma, Kishanlal Rai and Vijay Choukse — were on their way to the court.
They demanded that state government should enforce the Lawyers Protection Act, which CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had promised to implement in 2012. In the evening, when the agitation had almost ended the police van with the accused entered the court premises, the lawyers rushed towards the vehicle.
Even though the police had cordoned off the accused, few lawyers allegedly managed to slap them. Taking note of commotion, Judge Vaibhav Vikas Sharma hearing the judicial remand plea, ordered the courtroom doors to be shut.
When contacted, Indore District Bar Association president Surendra Verma said that he was inside the court when the hearing was taking place and had no clue to what was happening. Association secretary, Gopal Kacholia, denied that the lawyers roughed up the accused.
Central Kotwali Station in-charge Manju Yadav also claimed that there was no violence outside the court premises. "It was our duty to bring back the accused safely and we did that," she added. Meanwhile, the court granted judicial remand to the three accused till January 2, 2015.
About 5,000 lawyers abstained from work to protest the abduction and murder of their colleague, who was strangulated to death, burnt at buried in a forest in Khargone district one week ago over a property dispute with one Lal Chand Hardia, whose role in the incident remains to be probed.