Lawyers boycotted all the lower courts in Telangana on Monday in protest against the issue of a government order permitting police to prosecute 24 of their colleagues who took part in an agitation in the High Court demanding a fair share in judicial posts for people from Telangana.

They raised slogans within the High Court premises and went in a procession up to Madina junction. Telangana joint action committee chairman M. Kodandaram and gazetted officers’ association president V. Srinivas Goud expressed solidarity.

The criminal courts at Nampally, city civil courts, Ranga Reddy district and Secunderabad metropolitan courts did not function as a result of the agitation. However, the cases were heard as usual in the High Court though a group raised slogans.

The government issued the order on December 15 stating that the 24 accused advocates were liable to be punished under various sections of IPC and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

Leader of advocates’ joint action committee T. Sriranga Rao, however, argued that the government had committed itself to scrapping the cases after arresting some of the accused who were later granted bail.

The agitation was taken up in 2010 for 42 per cent quota for advocates from Telangana in the posts of government pleader, public prosecutor and assistant public prosecutor. He said the advocates would carry on the struggle till the government order was withdrawn.

Boycott of courts was also reported from Karimnagar, Khammam, Adilabad, Nalgonda, Nizamabad and Mahabubnagar districts. The advocates also burnt copies of the order.