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HC lawyers to boycott I-Day functions

Cuttack: Lawyers of Orissa High Court tonight decided to boycott Independence Day celebrations if the government fails to take action against IPS officer Satish Gajbhiye, who allegedly tortured a lawyer, during a protest in Kendrapara five days ago.

Vowing to intensify their movement for the suspension and arrest of Gajbhiye, President of Orissa High Court Bar Association, Ashok Mohapatra said, they won’t allow any minister or official from Bhubaneswar to come to Cuttack on Independence Day to unfurl the national flag.

Odisha Excise and Cooperation minister Damodar Rout is scheduled to unfurl the tricolour in a district level Independence Day celebration here.

President of the 5000-strong lawyers’ body further said, “If no action is taken against the brutal IPS officer by Friday, all the lawyers of the city would boycott the Independence Day function on Saturday.”

Mohapatra was addressing the media after a general body meeting of the Bar Association.

The lawyers of the city had been boycotting courts for past five days, including that of the High Court sessions demanding stringent action against Gajbhiye, a 2002-batch IPS officer, who allegedly asked the policemen to beat up public during a protest against the self-styled Godman Sarathi Baba alias Santosh Roul in the district early last week.

Gajbhiye singled out a lawyer among the protestors and tortured him and even asked him to do sit-ups, the association further alleged.

The concerned IPS had been stripped of his responsibility and attached to the police headquarters as an officer without duty as inquiry was on, police sources said.