THE ODISHA High Court Bar Association called off its strike after 78 days and allowed the state High Court to resume its duties on Thursday. The move came a day after policemen who had allegedly assaulted a lawyer, sparking the strike, issued an unconditional apology.
“They (the policemen) stood in court and apologised with folded hands,” Srikant Naik, president of the High Court Bar Association, said.
Santosh Satpathy, the president of the Odisha Havildar, Constable and Sepoys Confederation (OHCSC), added, “Both sides expressed regrets and apologised to the court. The association did not ask the constables to apologise.”
On August 28, lawyer Debi Prasad Pattnaik was allegedly beaten up in public by policemen in Cuttack following an argument. The next day, lawyers across Odisha began a protest that brought courts statewide to a grinding halt.
The lawyers had demanded that four policemen should be arrested under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder). The constables’ union appealed to the protesting lawyers to not press for the arrest of the police personnel. Satpathy, on behalf of OHCSC, had said that all its members will go on strike if the policemen were arrested “under pressure”. Odisha High Court Judge C R Das has been monitoring the issue.