Tamil Nadu protest lawyers held

Police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have arrested 150 lawyers who were protesting against Thursday’s police action against their colleagues.

The Chennai (Madras) high court has ordered an inquiry into the violence and courts have remained closed.

On Thursday, hundreds of lawyers and baton-wielding policemen fought pitched battles outside the high court.

Clashes began when police went to arrest lawyers who had thrown rotten eggs at a politician on Tuesday.

Janata Dal party leader Subramanian Swamy alleged that the lawyers who attacked him were affiliated with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers and were unhappy with his anti-Tiger stand.

Some lawyers have accused Mr Swamy, himself a lawyer, of being provocative.

Evicted

The lawyers marched through the city streets and gathered outside a police station to protest against Thursday’s police action.

Backed by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, the lawyers also held a one-day fast.

“The Bar Council is today (Friday) observing a one-day fast under the leadership of our chairman Chander Mohan, vice chairman Vardhan and all the members have assembled here from all over the state to condemn the incident,” news agency Reuters quoted Karuppan, a lawyer, as saying.

Earlier in the day the issue caused uproar in Tamil Nadu’s assembly, with the entire opposition being evicted from the house.

During Thursday’s clashes, dozens of people were injured, including a judge and several women.

The protesters also set a police station on fire.

There are about 62m Tamils in Tamil Nadu state and they have close links to Sri Lanka.

Concern for Tamil civilians trapped in the current conflict in northern Sri Lanka has been high here.

source : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7901301.stm

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