The Lahore High Court ordered the Punjab government on Wednesday to remove shipping containers from roads and give way to people to exercise their right to protest.
In a bid to stop protesters from reaching the federal capital, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has blocked roads across Punjab with containers and other barriers.
The court was hearing a case against the arrest of PTI and PAT supporters, whose parties are organising the long marches. The full bench - headed by Justice Mahmood Ahmad Bhatti - told the government that it would not allow people’s rights to be violated in the name of security. It also ordered the government to ensure the provision of fuel across the province.
The order was issued after the court questioned Punjab Inspector General (IG) Mushtaq Sukhera about whether he had passed any order for the placement of containers on roads. When the IG said he had not as it was the district police’s decision, Justice Bhatti remarked how all district heads of the police in the province decided to block roads.
The court also asked Sukhera to inform the court about the number of containers cordoning the capital but the IG asked for an hour’s time to obtain the information. To this, the judge responded, “What is the use of an IG if he had no coordination with his subordinates?”
During the hearing, PTI lawyer Ahmed Awais said the march will take place between Zero Point and Kashmir Point and assured that PTI workers will not disrupt the city’s peace.
The bench ordered the government at 2 pm on Wednesday to remove the containers, but the latter filed a review petition, which was taken up the same day at 5:30 pm. Later, the review petition was dismissed.
Similarly,LHC Rawalpindi bench ordered the city police to remove barricades from the city.
Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi directed City Police Officer Humayun Bashir Tarar to remove all blockades from the city in response to a petition filed by Raja Nasir Mehmood, the Rawalpindi District Bar Association president.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th,2014.
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