They accuse the police of burning their parked vehicles

Many lawyers found themselves stranded inside City Civil Court complex till 6.30 p.m. on Friday when violence broke out between them and journalists. The police had cordoned off the area which witnessed rioting and arson. Vehicles in the open place between the court complex and the Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner's Office were set on fire.

Many lawyers were rescued by their colleagues in different vehicles, including ambulances, on receiving distress calls. State Public Prosecutor H.S. Chandramouli rescued 30 or 40 lawyers who had taken shelter in the buildings near the Deputy Commissioner's Office canteen.

He told The Hindu he took the help of some senior police officers to rescue his colleagues at 6 p.m. Some arsonists tried to attack the rescue vehicle also, he said.

Women carried out

Women advocates, who had taken shelter inside the court halls, were provided mini-buses which usually carry judges. The Registrar of the City Civil Court made special arrangements for them.

“I took shelter in a building near the DC Office canteen during the lathi-charge. I stayed put with 10 others as I saw a mob chasing advocates who tried to go out even after the court hours,” said Suresh (named changed).

“We called up some of our friends but it took at least two hours for them to reach the place and talk to the persons concerned to get us out of the building,” he added.

Some advocates alleged that police in plainclothes and some others went around burning cars and two-wheelers bearing advocates' sticker in the evening.

Rumour trigger

“The rumour that two police constables had died after being assaulted by advocates angered the police constables deployed on the court premises. Soon they were chasing the advocates and abusing them,” said Srikanth (name changed).

Meanwhile, the rumour that two advocates had died in the police caning led to their colleagues protesting in front of the High Court around 2.30 p.m.

Lawyers went to court halls around 3.30 p.m. and asked their colleagues — including those arguing cases — and requested them to walk out. While some judges adjourned hearing, some continued the proceedings.