The judicial staff in Telangana on Friday held a ‘maha dharna’ at Indira Park, seeking immediate bifurcation of the existing Hyderabad High Court. In solidarity with the agitating judges in the state, nearly 8,000 employees working in various courts and other judicial departments across the state went on an indefinite strike.

Meanwhile, seven advocates were arrested by the police for raising slogans against the allocation of Andra Pradesh-origin judicial officers to Telangana at Additional Metropolitan Sessions Court at Nampally. Another group of agitating advocates was arrested by the police when they attempted burning an effigy of the Chief Justice. Unmindful of the action against the employees, the association decided to go ahead with the strike from Friday beginning with the participation in a day-long protest at dharna chowk.

The judicial employees are demanding the withdrawal of the list of provisional allocation of judicial officers between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as Hyderabad High Court bifurcation, among other demands. All India Judicial Employees Association General Secretary B Lakshma Reddy claimed that the employees in all the 10 districts held demonstrations.

“We demand immediate roll back of the provisional allocation list of judges between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We also demand that the High Court should be bifurcated. The strike will go on until our demands are met,” Reddy said.

Reddy along with eight other principal members of the association was placed under suspension by the High Court on Thursday for allegedly violating the code of conduct.

Earlier, the high court had also suspended 11 judicial officers on disciplinary grounds for allegedly participating in the ongoing protest. Over 200 judges from Telangana went on a mass leave in protest against the suspension of the 11 judicial officers amid the ongoing stir. Reddy said their demands also include revoking the suspension orders on the 11 judges and filling up vacant posts in various courts.