Allahabad: A lawyer was killed inside the district court premises allegedly by a policeman sparking violent protests from advocates who took to the streets, vandalizing and torching nearly a dozen vehicles.
According to a video footage, the trouble began during the lunch break when the advocate and police official apparently picked up a quarrel near the parking lot.
The sub-inspector of police, Shailendra Singh, who was to depose before the court in connection with some case, was seen taking out his pistol and opening fire.
The deceased advocate was identified as Nabi Ahmed, earlier the police has told Roshan Ahmed.
In the footage, the sub-inspector was seen running away from the spot, waving his pistol at other advocates and warning them not to follow him.
The sub-inspector Singh posted in Nari Bari under Shankargarh police station area of the district's trans-Yamuna region, is absconding.
Ahmed died within a few minutes of being shot and as the news of the sub-inspector managing to escape without being caught by other policemen spread, advocates got enraged and began vandalizing and torching police and government vehicles parked nearby and hurling stones at government offices located in the vicinity.
The incident evoked angry reactions at the High Court, situated at least five kilometres away from the district court.
As many as four vehicles belonging to police department or other government officials were toppled and set afire near the High Court premises.
Situation was brought under control only after a group of judges walked out and spoke to the agitated lawyers, urging them to stay calm.
The situation was brought under control not earlier than 5 PM, after nearly three hours of pitched battle between advocates and police.
The six companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary and one company of Rapid Action Force also assisted in controlling the situation.
According to Additional Superintendent of Police (Crime) Arun Kumar Pandey, a constable named Ajay Nagar has also been admitted to a private hospital in a critical condition.
He had received a gunshot in his neck during the pitched
battle the police was involved into by the advocates protesting the killing of Nabi Ahmed.
Pandey claimed that the gunshot received by Nagar was "fired from the advocates' side" though he admitted that "police had resorted to firing a number of shots in the air to disperse the enraged mob".
Protests by advocates were also reported from remote parts of the district as well as nearby districts like Pratapgarh, Varanasi and Ghazipur.
In the evening the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council, condemning the incident and demanding immediate arrest of the erring sub-inspector of police, announced a state-wide strike.
The High Court Bar Association also issued a statement expressing solidarity with the Bar Council and denouncing the alleged incompetence of the district administration, blaming it for the situation getting out of hand.