UP Bar Council chief cremated; CM promises security in courts


Uttar Pradesh Bar Council president Darvesh Singh Yadav, who was shot dead by a lawyer on the Agra court premises, was cremated at her native village of Chaandpur in Etah district on Thursday, even as her killing acquired a political hue with opposition Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) raising the issue of "poor" law and order and "jungle raj" in the state. Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brijesh Pathak attended the funeral, besides a large number of lawyers and members of the public.

Following Yadav's killing inside the Agra court complex, the state government said it was committed to providing adequate security on the high court and district court premises. In a statement issued in Lucknow late Wednesday night, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, "Along with the Bar Council, the Bar Association and the judiciary, the state government is committed to providing adequate security on the premises of the high court and the district court." 
He said clear-cut instructions in this regard were given to the state chief secretary and Director General of Police (DGP). 
"The government will take effective steps, keeping in mind all the parameters of security," the chief minister said. He expressed grief over the demise of the newly-elected Uttar Pradesh Bar Council president and conveyed his condolence to the members of the bereaved family and legal fraternity.

Yadav, the first woman president of the state bar council, was allegedly shot dead on the Agra court premises by a lawyer, who then tried to kill himself, police said. Meanwhile, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav rushed to the deceased's village to pay his tributes and described the killing as "extremely saddening" and "one that cannot be imagined". Speaking to reporters, he said, "One cannot bank on this government for justice. I want to meet the governor and raise the issue of poor law and order in Uttar Pradesh since they (BJP) raise the issue in West Bengal. You tell me, what is the condition of law and order in the state. They (BJP) want to bring down the government in West Bengal. What is the governor (of UP) doing?...Should not the government (of UP) be dismissed?" 

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also said the governor should at least clarify why there was no security for the common man in the state and the reins of UP were in whose hands. The Congress also hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government over Yadav's killing, saying there was not much difference between the "jungle rule" and the law-and-order situation in the BJP-ruled state. Agra City's Additional Superintendent of Police Praveen Verma said lawyer Manish Sharma, a long-time acquaintance of Yadav, opened fire at her.

The pistol used by the lawyer was licensed and the police have seized the weapon. Yadav had come on her first visit to the civil court after her election. At the event in her honour, Sharma suddenly got up and opened fire at her, the police said. Before anyone could react, he shot himself too and was seriously injured. Meanwhile, work in the courts across western Uttar Pradesh came to a standstill on Thursday as lawyers protested against Yadav's killing. Muzaffarnagar District Bar Association president Syed Naseer Haider said the incident was condemned by lawyers during a condolence meeting. The call for the boycott was given by the state bar council. Judicial work was affected in Baghpat, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Saharanpur and Shamli districts due to the boycott.

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