At least six police personnel were beaten up by protesting lawyers at two different public places on Jinnah Road and Shahrah-e-Iqbal near the city courts in Quetta on Wednesday.
“Police will take legal action against these lawyers. They violated the rule of law and no one stops police from taking legal action against violators of the law,” Capital City Police Officer Abdul Razzaq Cheema told The Express Tribune. Police have collected footage from all news channels that aired the news live in order to prepare their case.
Security arrangements around the court’s premises reportedly led to a quarrel between a lawyer and a police official deputed near a scanner. According to eyewitnesses, the lawyer was angered when he was asked to enter the court’s premises via the scanner’s gate.
The lawyer subsequently complained to his peers about the police official’s behaviour. A group of lawyers then beat up two police personnel deputed near the court and took out a procession on Jinnah Road, blocking the road. The two police personnel were identified as Adnan and Sayed Ali.
The lawyers also attacked the police mobile on Jinnah road and dragged the police officers from their vehicle. Four policemen were beaten up and dragged onto the road. The injured police personnel were identified as Abdul Khaliq, Noor Ali, Naseebullah and Abdul Jaleel. Medical examinations have been completed on all the injured.
A large number of spectators gathered on Jinnah Road and witnessed the scuffle until more police officials and senior lawyers reached the scene. TV channels recorded the incident. Security has been beefed up around the courts and main roads of the city after the incident.
Police will lodge an FIR against the lawyers, the CCPO said, adding that the police officials did not retaliate as they were attacked. “The police are trying to ensure the protection of the people and thwart any major incident of terror by installing scanners and walk-through gates. No one shall be allowed to interfere in official business,” he added.
Bar blames police
General Secretary Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) Athaullah Lango says the police ‘manhandled’ a lawyer near the city court and resorted to aerial firing in order to disperse a peaceful protest by lawyers against such treatment. “The police were responsible for the clash. They beat up a lawyer, Mohammed Qasim, and he was bleeding after he was punched by a police officer,” Lango said.
Asked why the lawyers dragged police officials from their vehicle, he said the lawyers were peacefully protesting when a police mobile reached Jinnah Road and tried to disperse the protestors. He said the security forces fired blank shots in the air and the aerial firing led to a scuffle between the two groups.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2014.