New Delhi: The outrage over the murder of Darvesh Singh Yadav, the first woman chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council, inside the court premises, has sent shock waves across the state. On Thursday, lawyers in 22 districts held protests, affecting judicial work.
The Muzaffarnagar District Bar Association president Syed Naseer Haider along with hundred lawyers held a condolence meeting and condemned the incident.
Speaking to Newsclick, Haider said, "Courts across Western Uttar Pradesh halted work to protest the killing of Darvesh Yadav and demanded security in all courts. We do not know what happened in Agra, but we are concerned about the fact that the state Bar Council president was murdered, which is worrisome for every lawyers. We are preparing a memorandum and will soon hand it over to the government and the authority concerned."
Yadav, the first woman chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council, was shot dead inside the civil court premises in Agra on Wednesday just three days after she was elected. The attacker was a fellow colleague, Manish Sharma, who later tried to kill himself, the police stated.
Paresh Mishra, ex-chairman of UP Bar Council and a present member, told Newsclick: "We are demanding proper security for the chairperson of the Bar Council but the government is not listening. When I was chairman of the Bar Council in 2015, a lawyer was killed in the campus in Jaunpur. Since then I have written so many letters to the state government to provide security but our demands were not met. Such a horrific incident is the result of that. In UP, there are more than 3,75,000 lawyers and the chief of the Bar Council is their head. When the chief is not the safe in the campus, how can lawyers be safe."
Mishra said the law and order situation in UP was is an abysmal state and should be a matter of concern for the ruling BJP. “Minor girls are being raped, mobs are taking law in their hands and beating up police personnel, the chairperson of Bar Council has been murdered and journalists are being beaten up. What can be worse than this,” he said, adding that the “state government is responsible for all this and Yogi (Chief Minister Adityanath) has miserably failed to control law and order.”
He pointed out that there was no security at the collectorate and civil courts in Lucknow, which is capital of India’s largest state, adding “imagine what will be the situation in small districts."
Meanwhile, lawyers have also demanded security for the family of the slain Bar Council chairperson while the Bar Council of India has sought an ex-gratia amount of Rs 50 lakh for the family.
Darvesh Yadav on Sunday was elected as Bar Council chairperson of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday and three days later on Wednesday, a felicitation ceremony was organised in the court. Soon after the felicitation ceremony was over, she was sitting in a lawyer's chamber when her colleague Manish Sharma came in and shot her dead. Sharma fired three bullets into Yadav's head and chest and then shot himself in the head, too. He is admitted in Medanta hospital in Gurugram in a critical condition.
The mortal remains of Yadav were consigned to flames in her native Chandpur village in Etah district. Her family members have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the murder.
Meanwhile, the Congress and Samajwadi Party flayed the Yogi government over the killing, saying that there was not much difference between "jungle rule" and law and order in the BJP-ruled state. Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to express his anger. He wrote, "Rapes, murders and political killings are increasing at an alarming rate. The CM is chairing meetings upon meetings but the law and order situation is only deteriorating. Now the first woman head of the Bar Council of Agra has been shot. Even upholders of the law are not safe."