The Lahore High Court bar and district bar associations on Wednesday boycotted court proceedings in protest against violent clashes between Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers and the Punjab police in Lahore on Tuesday.
The lawyers condemned the police and demanded a fair and impartial trial of all those responsible.
“We haven’t seen such police heavy-handedness even during martial law. The police cannot use live rounds without orders from the inspector general, interior minister or the chief minister,” said former District Bar Association (DBA) general secretary Malik Zaheer Arshad.
He also questioned why the police did not use tear gas and rubber bullets instead of live rounds to disperse protesters.
“The provincial government should complete a fair inquiry into the clashes and bring those responsible to book,” said Col (retd) Inamur Rahim.
He said the Punjab government should also dismiss police officials who looted shops during the clashes.
Terming the deaths extra-judicial killings, former LHCBA president Sardar Taufiq Asif demanded that the provincial government register cases against all police personnel that can be identified in TV footage beating the PAT workers.
“The Lahore incident has proven that the rule of law cannot be implemented in this country unless we give up political victimisation,” he remarked.
The District Bar Association also passed a resolution condemning the incident and demanded a fair probe.
“We condemn the incident in the strongest possible words and demand strict action against the police officers and constables,” the resolution read.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2014.
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