A lawyer was shot dead allegedly by another one at the Shahjahanpur district court premises on Monday afternoon over an old rivalry, following which four cops were suspended for negligence, police said.
The victim, Bhupendra Singh (58), had filed two dozen cases against Suresh Gupta. Upset over this, Gupta allegedly killed him, they said.
Taking strong exception to a serious crime like murder on the court premises, four police personnel, including an inspector, have been placed under suspension, Assistant Superintendent of Police (City) Sanjay Kumar said.
Advocate Bhupendra Singh of Jalalabad tehsil had gone to the third-floor office of ACJM-I of the district court in the afternoon to meet a clerk in connection with some case when a gunshot was heard and he was found dead.
Quoting the clerk Singh had gone to meet, Superintendent of Police S Anand had earlier said that an illegal 315 bore pistol was found near the body.
A case of murder was registered against advocate Suresh Kumar Gupta and his two sons Gaurav Gupta and Ankit Gupta. The accused advocate has been arrested, the police said.
Advocates in the district had launched an indefinite strike, demanding the killer's immediate arrest.
Bar Association general secretary Aneet Kumar Trivedi, who had led the protest, told PTI that since the accused has been arrested, the organisation would meet at 11 am on Tuesday to decided on further course of action.
Meanwhile, political parties like the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party attacked the state government over the incident.
"The legal and judicial fraternity is an integral pillar of our democracy. The brutal murder of an advocate in broad daylight in court premises in Shahjahanpur is another chilling reminder that no one is safe in today's UP - not women, not farmers and now not advocates," Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said Uttar Pradesh has become number one in the country in "ease of doing crime" under the BJP.
"The truth behind the 'encounter government's' false propaganda has been exposed before the public by the murder of a lawyer in Shahjahanpur court. UP has become number one in 'ease of doing crime' under the BJP government," he said in a tweet in Hindi.
BSP president Mayawati said the incident exposed the BJP government's tall claims over law and order in the state.
"The murder of a lawyer on the court premises of Shahjahanpur district of UP in broad daylight is very sad and shameful. It exposes the law and order situation under the BJP government and its claims in this regard. The question arises as to who is safe in UP. The government should pay proper attention to this," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
The lawyers who sat on a dharna at the Khirni Bagh intersection of the district have demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family of the deceased, and an investigation into the case by a senior police official.
The SP said a panel of doctors has been formed to conduct the post-mortem examination.