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High Court Violence
Shoot orders in Tamil Nadu
N Ravikumar
Tribune News Service

Chennai, February 21
Alleging that “anti-social elements” were using the Madras High Court violence to damage public property and burn vehicles, the Tamil Nadu police has issued shoot-on-sight orders against those trying to damage public properties and create disturbance.

District SPs have been empowered to carry out the order, a release from the DGP’s office said last night. Appropriate action would be taken against those trying to damage vehicles or involved in other illegal activities, it said.

Some anti-social elements were using Thursday’s incidents to damage public property and burn vehicles, the release said, adding strict action would be taken against them.

As the police refused to arrest Janata Party president Subramanium Swamy under Prevention of Atrocities Act following a complaint against him that he had made derogatory comments against women lawyers belonging to Dalit communities, a verbal clash between lawyers and police ended in lathicharge and stone pelting by the police.

When the police entered the Madras High Court to arrest 16 lawyers following a complaint by Swamy, the lawyers asked why the police was hesitant to arrest him.

Meanwhile, VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, today charged that those who accompanied Swamy, who visited the Madras High Court on Thursday, started the violence by throwing stones at the police. The policemen, who thought that some lawyers were throwing stones at them, retaliated. He said Swamy, who had visited the court last week, had alleged that some lawyers had thrown eggs at him and he had visited the court for the second time to foment trouble.

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Courts ordered shut

The Madras High Court today ordered closure of all the courts in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry till February 24 in view of the lawyers' unrest in the state.

The full bench, which met at the Judicial Academy in the city in the backdrop of yesterday’s protests over the lawyers-police clash in the High Court premises, decided to keep the courts closed till Tuesday to restore normalcy.

The court was presided over by Acting Chief Justice SK Mukhopadyaya. The courts were closed yesterday following the February 19 clashes between lawyers and the police in the High Court premises. Today also the courts remained closed in view of weekend holiday and as lawyers were barred from entering the premises on a directive from Acting Chief Justice. — PTI

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