Scribe held for assaulting lawyer over parking row

A petty dispute over parking led to a scuffle between a journalist, his driver and a group of lawyers in the City Civil Court premises here on Thursday afternoon.

The journalist and the driver were arrested after a lawyer lodged a police complaint, alleging that the two had beaten him up.

Venugopal, 29, a native of Vitthalenahalli, Ramanagara, who also runs a local newspaper, Sandhyavani, was at the office of Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner, located in the court complex. His driver, Vinay Kumar, sat in the car which was parked haphazardly outside the main entrance.

The person manning the parking lot asked Kumar to park the car properly so that it did not block the way. But Kumar reportedly disregarded the advice and argued with him. Hearing the skirmish, a few lawyers crowded around. Kumar allegedly had a tiff with them too. The angry lawyers then slapped him. At that moment, Kumar called up Venugopal who rushed back and joined the issue, police sources said.

As Venugopal got into the scuffle, he allegedly beat up some lawyers who then called up the police. As the police rushed to the spot and brokered peace, a lawyer named Venkatesh Prasad lodged a complaint at Ulsoorgate police station, alleging that Venugopal and Kumar had beaten him up.

The police acted swiftly on the complaint and arrested the duo, producing them before the jurisdictional court which remanded them in judicial custody for 14 days as no lawyer agreed to represent them.

According to police, a case under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 504 (intentional insult) and 506 (criminal intimidation) has been booked against the two.

B K Singh, Joint Commissioner (Law and Order) East, said the suspects had not lodged a counter complaint against the lawyers.

Meanwhile, sources claimed senior police officers were upset about the way the sub inspector at Ulsoorgate police station acted on the lawyer’s complaint and arrested the journalist and his driver.

According to the sources, the sub inspector should have acted with restraint in the wake of hostile relations between journalists and lawyers. The violence at the City Civil Court complex is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Following the latest incident, a meeting was reportedly held where disciplinary action was contemplated against the sub inspector.

No order, however, was issued till late night. Kamal Pant, Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), told Deccan Herald that no such action was even contemplated and the police had done their duty impartially.

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