End of the long 17 days battle between collector and lawyer

The conflict between the Sambalpur lawyers and collector Mrinalini Darswal finally reached a solution on Friday as the collector expressed her sorrow at the April 23 incident and the lawyers agreed to resume work.

The lawyers and the collector met at the RDC’s office on Friday after all court work remained suspended in the district for 17 days. IN the presence of IG R P Koche and SP Nikhil Kanodia, the collector told the lawyers she was sorry for the incident. The lawyers also repented assaulting the collector and ransacking her residence. Presiding the meeting, Sambalpur RDC Kishore Chandra Barik appealed to both the parties not to take the issue further in any form and assured to begin the process of withdrawing criminal cases filed by the collector and DSR and the bar association in connection to the scuffle.

“We feel sorry for the incident. It was unfortunate. We agreed to call-off the agitation with immediate effect as we wanted to settle the issue amicably. The collector also expressed her sorrow for the incident. She also said she deeply regretted the incident. We will continue to raise our voice in various public issues where we feel unfairness and injustice,” president of Sambalpur district bar association Pramod Rath said. However, he said, as the president of the bar, he felt sorry for whatever happened on that day.

Collector Mrinalini Darswal said vandalism and criminal act could not be accepted in any way. It was really a regrettable incident and no one can take law in one’s hands. We are public servants and we work for the betterment of the society. “I am sorry for the incident and appealed to the lawyers not to take law in their hands in future,” Darswal said.

The collector, however, reaffirmed that lawyers manhandled her and threw chappals and bottles at her. They also ransacked her office. She said she was working normally since the incident. It was the lawyers who started agitating.

On the other hand, eminent citizens of the town heaved a sigh of relief as the lawyers and the collector brought an end to the episode. They appealed to both the parties for working sincerely in future. “It is a good sign that both the parties have agreed to conclude the chapter. This will create an example in future,” Khirod Prasad Mishra, an eminent citizen of the town, said.

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