- Crude bomb exploded Lucknow Collectorate in Hazratganj
- Bomb is believed to have targeted a member of Lucknow Bar Association
- Angry lawyers gathered outside court, condemning the breach of security
At least two lawyers were injured when a crude bomb exploded at a court in Lucknow this morning. The bomb - thrown at the chamber of lawyers - is believed to have targeted a senior member of Lucknow Bar Association.
The explosion took place at session court, about a kilometre from the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha. At least three crude bombs were recovered after the explosion, eyewitnesses said.
Sanjeev Lodhi, joint secretary of the Lucknow Bar Association, claimed about ten men targeted him but he escaped unhurt. He blamed another lawyer - Jitu Yadav - for the attack. Mr Yadav, Lucknow Bar Association's general secretary, denied any role in the incident while speaking to NDTV.
A CCTV footage shows two groups clashing with each other and lawyers running away as the bomb explodes.
Condemning the breach of security at the court, several angry lawyers gathered outside the court after the incident.
"How did these unknown men (who threw crude bomb) enter the court premises? This is a breach of security. A few of my colleagues were injured. I escaped unhurt," Mr Lodhi said.
"Strict action should be taken or incidents like these will repeat," he said, urging others around him to shout the slogan: "Long live lawyers' unity".
Bomb disposal and dog squads were rushed to the site of the blast.
Senior police officer Naveen Arora said Mr Lodhi has filed a complaint against Mr Yadav and three others, alleging that he was attacked with crude bombs. "Two live crude 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," Mr Arora said.
"Investigations are on and it appears to be a case of mutual rivalry between two groups of lawyers," he added.
Last month, a protest was held by lawyers over rise in attacks against them across the state. The Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh had asked bar associations to join the protest, urging the state government to pass legislation to protect lawyers.
On January 7, a 32-year-old lawyer, Shekhar Tripathi, was beaten to death with sticks by five men in Lucknow, triggering anger among his colleagues who protested against his death at the district collectorate.
On December 17, a man was killed and two policemen were injured when unidentified men opened fire at a court in Bijnore.