Lawyers in Rae Bareli district have been on strike for the last one week,protesting against the alleged high-handedness of Samajwadi Party MLA Devendra Pratap Singh. They want registration of an FIR against the MLA and his supporters for allegedly assaulting president of the Central Bar Association (CBA) O P Yadav on September 4,when a fact-finding team sent by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had gone to the district to probe the alleged killings of two persons.
The general body meeting of CBA has decided that the strike will continue until a case is registered against the MLA and his supporters, said Sunil Singh,CBA general secretary.
However,MLA Devendra Pratap Singh denied he or his supporters assaulted anyone. There is a video recording of the incident,anyone can see it. They misbehaved with me and I restrained the people there when the incident occurred in my village Khajoorgaon, said Singh. The fact-finding team had gone to the village to visit the family of Lalta Prasad Yadav who was allegedly crushed to death by a dumper when he denied it passage though his field. The dumper was reportedly used in illegal sand mining by the MLAs supporters. After Prasads death,resentment was brewing in the Yadav community against the MLA.
In the other incident,a youth,Dharmendra Yadav,was allegedly shot dead by SOG unit of local police which was chasing a chain snatcher.
The Chief Minister formed a five-member committee which included two ministers to visit the district and ascertain facts. When the team visited the place where Prasad had died,a large number of Singhs supporters arrived. O P Yadav,along with former MLA Ram Naresh Yadav,was also there. When the MLAs supporters said Prasads death was an accident,O P Yadav objected. This led to exchange of heated words and O P Yadav was allegedly manhandled.
The supporters of the MLA were armed. Police officials were present there along with two ministers of state government. They attacked us and we had to run for our life, said O P Yadav. Members of the team,however,brought the situation under control. After they left,O P Yadav informed the towns laywers about the incident and they approached the police for registering an FIR against the MLA and his supporters. The police did not register our FIR,then we approached the SP. Even after five days nothing has been done, he said.
For the last one week,the lawyers have been on strike and work in district courts has come to a standstill. Advocates at magistrate courts at tehsil level too have joined the protest.