Lawyers agitating for a bench of the Allahabad high court in Meerut went on a rampage Wednesday after district magistrate Navdeep Rinwa reportedly caned and abused them and police lathicharged them,injuring at least 10.
The lawyers,in turn,ransacked Rinwa’s office and laid siege to the house of the commissioner,Manjit Singh,shouting slogans,DM ko barkhast karo.
Deepak Kumar invited a delegation of the protesters for talks.
The lawyers claimed they were protesting at the Collectorate when Rinwa tried to force the gate open. But when the advocates resisted. he took a cane in handand beat them. Soon,the lawyers said,the police joined in the beating,injuring,among others,the general secretary of the High Court Bench Agitation Committee,Mukesh Wallia.
Rinwa denied beating the protesters. “The lawyers had locked the main gate of the Collectorate when I reached there to go to my office. They ransacked my office and damaged the windshields of the cars of an executive engineer and a passer by. There was no use of force against them from my side. If there was any it would have been from the police to maintain law and order, Rinwa told The Indian Express.
The lawyers,however,disputed his version. The DM came and started behaving violently and using abusive language. He even accused SP Om Prakash Singh of leading the lawyers,” said Wallia.