Crude bomb ‘attack’ in Lucknow court complex, police say nobody heard blast

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LUCKNOW, Feb 13 (AGENCIES): A crude bomb reportedly went off in a Lucknow court compound on Thursday, “injuring” three lawyers in an incident which police said was triggered by rivalry between two groups.

Two live bombs were recovered, police said. But they added that nobody appeared to have seen or heard the blast, which a lawyer claimed took place outside his chambers. Police have launched an inquiry. A large number of policemen and a bomb disposal squad were rushed to the site.

Lucknow Bar Association joint secretary Sanjiv Kumar Lodhi claimed he was the target of the attack because he has been complaining about some judicial officers.

He said about 10 people hurled crude bombs outside his chamber around 11.30 am. “I and two other lawyers were injured,” he told reporters.

“One bomb exploded but two still lay unexploded,” he said, adding that the attackers left brandishing firearms. Lodhi questioned the security on the premises of the collectorate, which houses the district courts. He demanded security for himself.

Joint Police Commissioner Naveen Arora said Lodhi has filed a complaint against the Bar Association’s general secretary Jitu Yadav and three others, alleging that he was attacked with crude “sutli” bombs.

“Two live sutli bombs have been recovered from the site. In the investigations so far, no one has heard the sound of bomb blast and Sanjeev Kumar Lodhi has also not suffered any injury,” Arora said.

“Investigations are on and prima facie it appears to be a case of mutual rivalry between two groups of lawyers,” he added.

He said security at the collectorate and the district courts will be reviewed and further strengthened. Former Bar Association office bearer J P Singh said a meeting of the body was held soon after the incident but rival groups clashed there. Senior lawyers intervened to bring the situation under control, he said.

As the news of an explosion spread, lawyers gathered and raised slogans demanding better security in the court complex. They also blocked traffic outside the court compound demanding the immediate arrest of those responsible.

In a tweet, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi said, “The UP government should now clearly state that it lied to the public for three years. Actually the state is dominated by criminals.”

“In the capital, lawyers are being attacked with bombs in the court. From the capital to remote regions, nobody is safe,” she tweeted in Hindi. Last month, lawyers struck work across Uttar Pradesh protesting against the recent attacks on them. The Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh had asked bar associations to abstain from work and put pressure on the government to bring legislation to protect lawyers.

On January 7, lawyer Shekhar Tripathi (32) was beaten to death with sticks by five men in Lucknow, triggering anger among his colleagues who sat with the body at the district collectorate demanding justice.

On December 17, a man was killed and two policemen injured when unidentified assailants opened fire at Bijnor Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court. In June 2019, Uttar Pradesh Bar Council president Darvesh Singh was shot dead in the court premises in Agra allegedly by another lawyer who then tried to kill himself, police said.

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