The 12 persons accused of plotting the murder of a Mangalore-based advocate, allegedly on the orders of underworld don Yusuf Madoor, are unable to find a lawyer in the city to represent them.

Advocates have allegedly taken a collective decision not to represent the accused.

President of the Mangalore Bar Association S.P. Chengappa confirmed to The Hindu that lawyers in the city were unwilling to take the case.

“The lawyers have taken this decision of their own volition without any pressure,” he said.

‘Informal advice'

Speaking to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, some lawyers claimed that the legal fraternity had been “informally advised” against representing the accused.

The lawyers decided not to represent the accused because their alleged target was a lawyer.

A senior lawyer said that the stand of the lawyers reeked of hypocrisy and prejudice.

Pointing out that every person accused of a crime had the right to legal counsel and was innocent until proven otherwise, he said, “It appears that the lawyers in this city have already made up their mind about the guilt of these persons.”

Families contest claim

Meanwhile, family members of Abhishek Ameen (24) and Muhammad Jamaluddin, who are among the accused in the latest case, have claimed that the two are innocent.

Muhammad's wife told The Hindu on Wednesday that her husband was picked up by the police on April 5. However, the police claim that all the arrests were made on April 12.

‘Tortured'

Abhishek's mother, Asha Ameen, told presspersons here that her son was picked up by the police on April 1 and tortured in custody.

Congress councillor Bharati, who is offering moral support to the families of the two accused, also said that the police acted in a high-handed manner and that Abhishek and Muhammad had been framed.

“But how can we present our case if no lawyer is willing to represent the accused,” Ms. Bharati asked.

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