By A Newsman
Asansol, 17 March: AN on-going tussle between police and lawyers has resulted in hundreds of litigants being denied access to justice at Katwa sub-divisional court in Burdwan for the fourth day in row.
Making things worse, the lawyers at Kalna and Burdwan sub-divisional courts have joined in the casework from today in solidarity with their brethren at Katwa.
Katwa Bar Association launched the casework on 14 March, day after a senior lawyer named Farman Sheikh was allegedly slapped by Katwa sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Sayak Das for driving motorbike without putting on helmet.
Das, an IPS officer who is serving his first posting as SDPO after having completed probation as an ASP in Cooch Behar, allegedly slapped Sheikh despite the latter revealing his identity and seeking to be excused once.
The striking lawyers have been demanding that punitive action against the SDPO for taking law onto his hand. To press for their demands, they sent memorandums to all concerned from the Burdwan SP to right up to the Chief Minister.
With the administration not taking any action against Das so far, they lawyers have now demanded his transfer from Katwa. The Bar Associations at Kalna and Burdwan sub-divisional courts have also now joined in the strike, turning into a prestige fight for the lawyer fraternity in the district of Burdwan.
Due to this, while no legal work took place at Katwa sub-divisional court since 14 March, work has now come to a standstill at at Kalna and Burdwan sub-divisional courts as well.
This has left hundreds of litigants coming from far-flung areas in Burdwan district with no access to justice. Several accused serving jail or police custody are not being able to move bail petitions as scheduled hearing are getting delayed due to the strike. Other routine legal works such as swearing of affidavits etc are also held up.