Special Correspondent

109 cases registered against advocates since 2001

CHENNAI: A detailed report sent by the Chennai Police to the State government explaining the circumstances that led to the February 19 clash points out that 109 cases have been registered against advocates in Chennai alone for unlawful activities/offences since 2001.

A majority of these pertain to assault on the police. However, no arrest could be made and investigation was virtually paralysed in all the cases. In the recent months, the police reviewed the cases and took steps to expedite investigation.

Forty-five students of Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College were arrested and remanded to judicial custody. The police arrested three advocates on February 4 following the attack on the Bank of Ceylon. When advocates smashed a bicycle shop near the Madras High Court when a strike was called by the Sri Lankan Tamils Protection Movement on January 29, the police arrested 23 advocates.

The report states that the advocates could not digest these actions of the police. In 2009 alone, 19 cases, which included 11 for attacks on the police and two on the Registrar General and Magistrate, were registered against advocates.

In the violence on the Madras High Court premises, police said the B-4 police station was burnt down damaging records and other articles. Advocates indulged in agitations across the State by burning vehicles and effigies, according to the report.

Simmering differences

“The clash on February 19 appears to be a culmination of simmering differences between the advocates and police. An uneasy calm was prevailing ever since November 26, when a group of advocates celebrated the birthday of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader V. Prabakaran.

“Agitations in favour of the Sri Lankan Tamils continued at regular intervals. Advocates burnt effigy/portrait of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on many occasions. Since police were restricting their activities as per law, the advocates turned their ire on us,” a senior police officer said.

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