In a significant development that has captured the attention of the legal community and the public alike, the Uttar Pradesh Police found itself in the spotlight as an FIR was lodged against 53 policemen and approximately 90 unnamed personnel. This move comes in the wake of recent allegations of a lathi-charge on lawyers in Hapur district, triggering a three-day statewidestrike by lawyers in Uttar Pradesh, which began on Monday.
The FIR Details
The First Information Report (FIR), registered on the complaint of an advocate, encompasses a range of serious charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). These include sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty), and 392 (robbery). Additional Superintendent of Police, Mukesh Mishra, confirmed the lodging of the FIR.
Senior Advocate’s Complaint
The complaint, filed by senior advocate Sudhir Rana, specifically targets 51 policemen, which comprises the circle officer (city), six inspectors, and 14 sub-inspectors. Additionally, it mentions approximately 90 unnamed policemen who were allegedly involved in the incident. E Haq, the President of HapurBar Association (HBA), conveyed the association’s decision to boycott the upcoming ‘Rashtriya Lok Adalat’ scheduled for September 9 in protest of the alleged incident. Notably, this situation has attracted the attention of various political parties and social organizations, who joined the protests in support of the lawyers’ demands.
Background to the Allegations
The incident leading to these legal actions occurred on August 30 when the police registered an FIR against 17 lawyers and more than 250 unidentified individuals at City police station in Hapur. This followed a protest by some advocates at the tehsil crossing. Subsequently, the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh convened and decided to initiate a three-day strike as a response to the alleged police actions. The Bar Council has set forth a list of demands, including the transfer of the Hapur district magistrate and superintendent of police, the filing of FIRs against the policemen involved, the withdrawal of false cases against lawyers, and compensation for those injured in the lathi-charge.
Lawyers’ Resolute Stand
Advocate Anil Azad, addressing the lawyers’ dharna (protest), strongly criticized the police for what he termed a “cowardly” attack on the advocates. He emphasized that the strike would continue until their demands are met.
Uncertainty Regarding the Number of Policemen Booked
It’s important to note that there is some uncertainty regarding the exact number of policemen booked in the FIR. While senior advocate Sudhir Rana’s complaint names 51 specific policemen and approximately 90 unnamed personnel, further investigations may reveal the exact figures.
The lodging of the FIR against a substantial number of policemen in connection with the alleged lathi-charge on lawyers in Hapur has escalated an already tense situation. The legal community and the public are closely monitoring the developments, with many hoping for a fair and transparent investigation into the matter. The strike by lawyers in Uttar Pradesh underscores the seriousness of their demands and their determination to seek justice for what they perceive as an unjust attack on their profession.