The murder of a 32-year-old lawyer in Lucknow on Tuesday night sparked unprecedented protests on Wednesday, with lawyers angry over the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh's capital taking the body of their colleague inside the compound of the city's district magistrate's office to protest. The protest went on for about two hours before the police could restore order and send the body home for last rites.
Lawyers also took to the roads, blocked traffic near the District Magistrate's office and shouted slogans like 'Police prashashan murdabad (down with the police)" inside the District Magistrate's office premises.
The 32-year-old lawyer, Shishir Tripathi, was beaten to death outside his Lucknow residence on Tuesday night by around five men who assaulted him with stones, sticks and rods. The Lucknow police say they have arrested one person for murder, while four others are on the run. The man arrested is also a lawyer.
Police initial investigations suggest that the murder was over personal enmity related to a property dealing business the two lawyers ran together.
The family of Shishir Tripathi, however, says he was killed because he was trying to take on anti-social elements in his locality. The city's police chief has suspended the inspector incharge of the police station limits for dereliction of duty.
"He was involved in a tiff with a person who used to supply ganja (marijuana) locally. He had complained about this to the police but no action had been taken," said Sharad Tripathi, brother of dead lawyer.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also tweeted about the incident, saying, "Is the state totally in the hands of criminals? The state government is a total failure when it comes to law and order."
A senior police official in Lucknow, Suresh Chandra Rawat, said, "This happened around 11.30 last night. We have raided at least 45 locations in the night and arrested the main accused. We will arrest the other accused soon. I agree there were a lot of protests but we have convinced the family to carry out the last rites."