Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh – September 16, 2023

In a recent turn of events in Uttar Pradesh, the state witnessed a prolonged lawyers’ strike that began on August 30, initially triggered by an alleged police lathi-charge on advocates in Hapur. The strike’s impact on judicial proceedings across the state has been significant. The Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, after extensive negotiations with the chief secretary, decided to call off the strike. However, the resolution at the state level did not appease the lawyers in Hapur, who persisted in their demand for the transfer of senior police officials.

The Transfer of Key Police Officials

As a response to the lawyers’ demands and in a bid to restore normalcy, the government ordered the transfer of three police officials out of Hapur. Among them was Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mukesh Chandra Verma, who was reassigned to Bareilly, and Circle Officer (City) Ashok Kumar Sisodhiya, who found himself relocated to Saharanpur. The transfer decisions came after consultations with lawyers’ groups, underscoring the significance of the lawyers’ protest.

Hapur Lawyers Remain Unyielding

Despite the strike being officially called off at the state level, lawyers in Hapur continued their protest, vowing to sustain their demand for the transfer of senior police officials. Hapur Bar Association Secretary Narendra Sharma confirmed their determination, announcing plans for a meeting on Saturday to chart the course forward.

Support from Fellow Lawyers

The situation took a new twist as the Lucknow Bar Association held an emergency meeting to express their solidarity with their colleagues in Hapur. President Suresh Pandey and General Secretary Kuldeep Narayan Mishra chaired the meeting, where they strongly condemned the police actions in Hapur. The Lucknow Bar Association refused to accept the decision of the state bar council to end the strike, signaling a rift within the legal community regarding the resolution of the issue.

Solidarity Spreads

In a display of unity, advocates from the Lucknow Bar Association announced their intention to travel to Hapur and join their colleagues in refraining from judicial work. This decision has added complexity to the situation and emphasized the legal community’s resolve to seek justice for their fellow advocates in Hapur.

Reports also surfaced of lawyers from Ballia passing a resolution to abstain from judicial work on Friday and Saturday as a gesture of solidarity with their counterparts in Hapur. Their disagreement with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh’s decision to end the strike underscored the division within the legal community regarding the issue.

The situation in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Hapur, remains in flux, with ongoing demonstrations and a division within the legal community over the resolution of the lawyers’ strike. While the state-level strike has been called off through negotiations, the lawyers in Hapur stand firm in their quest for justice and accountability. The support extended by the Lucknow Bar Association, lawyers from other districts, and even Ballia adds complexity to the situation, emphasizing the broader implications of this protest within the legal fraternity. The next steps in seeking redress for the alleged lathi-charge on advocates in Hapur remain uncertain as lawyers plan to meet and determine their course of action.

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