Now in its fifth day the struggle between thousands of disgruntled lawyers and the police has drawn the attention of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi who says he intends to fast until the two groups sort out their differences. The octogenarian politician is currently recovering from a spinal surgery in a local hospital and is apparently guilt-tripping both sides to stand down. He isn’t actually taking a stand to resolve the differences that have led to a “shoot on sight” by the police order and severe unrest around the High Court that has resulted in a destroyed police station and the burning of dozens of vehicles.

The lawyers outside the court are of two minds about the Chief Minister’s actions. One group of 300 lawyers has decided to follow his lead and start their own fast to shame the police into submission. Another group has kept on with its riotous activities and stabbed a police constable.

Meanwhile the courts have been shut down until next week when they will open up to record case backlogs and the business-as-usual approach that has made a travesty out of the Indian legal system.