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Hyd HC plays hard ball, suspends 8 more protesting Telangana judges • Lawyers will strike

The ongoing row over the allotment of Andhra-origin judges to subordinate courts in Telangana took an even more serious turn today with the high court of Judicature at Hyderabad suspending eight more state judges.

A day after suspending two judges for leading the protest, the high court took action against more judges for indiscipline.

The latest development further angered the protesting judges who decided to extend mass leave indefinitely. They had applied for casual leave for Tuesday to protest suspension of Telangana Judges Association president K Ravinder Reddy and secretary Varaprasad on Monday.

Telangana Lawyers' Joint Action Committee has called for 'chalo high court' on Wednesday to protest the suspension.

The high court, which is serving both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, suspended the judges after taking serious view their public protest and march to Raj Bhavan on Sunday.

More than 100 judges on Sunday had submitted their resignation to Ravinder Reddy and authorised him to forward the same to Governor ESL Narasimhan, who is their appointing authority, after 2 July if the provisional list of allotment was not recalled by then.

The lawyers also intensified their protest on Tuesday. They boycotted the court of acting Chief Justice Dilip Bhosale and demanded his immediate recall for what they call doing injustice to Telangana.

Police arrested scores of lawyers when they tried to barge in the court halls at Nampally Criminal Court Complex. Lawyers also staged protest at Ranga Reddy District Court to condemn the suspension of judges.

A lawyer attempted suicide on Tuesday. Gampa Venkatesham tried to end his life at Ranga Reddy District Court by consuming sleeping pills. He was shifted to a hospital.

Another lawyer had attempted self-immolation on Monday at City Civil Court to protest suspensions.

With the lawyers calling for 'chalo high court', police further stepped up security at the high court and other courts in Hyderabad and districts of Telangana.

In Warangal, the protest by lawyers turned violent. The protestors ransacked furniture in a court room in the presence of a judge and raised slogans like "Andhra judges go back".

The lawyers across Telangana have been protesting provisional allotment of judges for over a month. The state judges also joined the protest last week.

The list of provisional allotment of judges to lower courts issued on 5 May contained 335 judicial officers who were allotted to Telangana and 495 to Andhra Pradesh as part of the bifurcation of the lower judiciary. The association said about 130 officers of Andhra nativity were allotted to Telangana after they exercised the option.

The lawyers have also been demanding immediate bifurcation of the high court, which is currently serving both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

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