New Delhi: A lawyer was shot dead inside the district court complex in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district on Monday. The incident took place around 11:30 am today. The police are trying to ascertain if it was a case of suicide or murder.
Superintendent of Police (SP) S Anand said advocate Bhupendra Singh (38) of Jalalabad tehsil had gone to the third-floor office of ACJM-I of the district court to meet a clerk in connection with some case when a gunshot was heard and he was found dead.
Quoting the clerk Singh had gone to meet, the SP said an illegal 315 bore pistol was also found lying near the body. Since no one else was present on the spot, it is not immediately known if it was a murder or suicide, SP Anand said, adding that senior officials and investigating teams are on the spot.
Advocates in the district, meanwhile, launched an indefinite strike, demanding the killer’s immediate arrest. Political parties like the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) attacked the state government over the incident.
Responding to the incident, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “The legal and judicial fraternity is an integral pillar of our democracy. The brutal murder of an advocate in broad daylight in court premises in Shahjahanpur is another chilling reminder that no one is safe in today’s UP – not women, not farmers and now not advocates.”
BSP president Mayawati said it exposed the BJP government’s tall claims over law and order in the state. “The murder of a lawyer on the court premises of Shahjahanpur district of UP in broad daylight is very sad and shameful. It exposes the law and order situation under the BJP government and its claims in this regard. The question arises as to who is safe in UP. The government should pay proper attention to this,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.
Central Bar Association president Anant Kumar Singh told PTI that the advocates have stopped all work and started a ‘dharna’ at the Khirni Bagh intersection of Shahjahanpur.
“District Magistrate Inder Vikram Singh and SP Anand came to the protest site and we expressed our surprise as to how an illegal firearm reached the court premises even though there is police force deployed at each gate of the complex,” he said.
Until the killers are arrested, all advocates will remain on strike, the bar association president said.
Protesting lawyers have also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family of the deceased, and an investigation of the case by a senior official, he said.
The SP said a panel of doctors has been formed to conduct the post-mortem examination.
(With inputs from PTI)