MIRPUR (AJK) -  Police on Monday registered a case against 50 local lawyers including Mirpur DBA general secretary on the charges of thrashing two police officers including SI Atif Azeem and a constable besides attacking the DC Office during a protest against the Mirpur Development Authority here on Monday.

“Yes, case has been registered against 50 lawyers , members of the District Bar Association including its General Secretary Mudassar Iqbal for attacking police SI Atif Azeem besides injuring another cop when angry lawyers tried to storm the DC office during a protest,” said SSP Mirpur Raja Irfan Salim when contacted by this Correspondent.

The SSP said that the lawyers were booked under relevant sections including 353, 147 and 148 CrPc.

The lawyers were protesting against the alleged manhandling of one of their senior colleagues including a former DBA president Tabassam Sadiq by the local authorities including the Mirpur Development Authority during removal of an alleged encroachment erected by Tabassam Sadiq in local residential sector F-3 [part-3] in Mirpur during a clean-up operation on Saturday.

Earlier lawyers boycotted courts and brought out a big procession against MDA Director General Ch Ejaz Raza and DC Mirpur Ansar Yaqoob here on Monday for the alleged manhandling of the senior DBA member. Lawyers termed the action unlawful and irrelevant as, according to Tabassam Sadiq Advocate he holds the lawful occupation of the building demolished by the MDA.

DBA President Shabir Sharif, newly-elected members of AJK Bar Council Kamran Tariq and other lawyers accused the MDA of turning into a den of corruption, malpractices and irregularities through exercising misuse of powers into the cases of allotments.

The protesting lawyers demanded immediate removal of MDA DG Ch Ejaz Raza.

Standing Committee seeks probe into delay in road projects

Standing Committee on Communications met in Muzaffarabad with its Chairman Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi in the chair on Monday.

During the meeting of the Standing Committee on Communications, it was observed that the cost of Muzaffarabad-Chackothi dual carriageway was revised and increased significantly. Similarly, the cost of Kohala-Muzaffarabad section of the road was also revised and the revised PC-I was much higher than the original PC-I.

The Committee showed its serious concerns and directed that NHA should give detailed reasons for each project separately of increase of its cost. Similarly, it was noticed that both of the projects were not completed timely. The Committee observed that it was not acceptable that each project was delayed and then the cost was increased two folds. The Committee directed to furnish an investigative report to the Committee explaining the reasons of delay.

The Committee was appraised that present both Muree-Kohala roads are in provincial control. The Prime Minister has directed NHA to prepare feasibility of new road from lower Topa to Muzaffarabad via Patriata. The Committee directed that after the study PC-I may also be prepared and furnished to the Committee. The Committee considered the projects of Athumqam-Sharda Kel-Taobut Road and Neelam Valley Shonter-Astore (Gilgit-Baltistan) Road.

The NHA informed the Committee that there is 35km road including a tunnel at Shonter Valley and after its completion, the distance to Gilgit-Baltistan will be reduced and the travel time will be reduced by five hour.

However, it was noticed that the travel time between Islamabad and Astor would be reduced by about 7 hours. It was appraised that the project is in its initial stage. The Committee directed that the work on the project may be expedited. The Committee directed that the project may be included in next PSDP.

The meeting was attended by Mr Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi, Chairman, MNA Chaudhry Khalid Javaid Warraich; MNA Sanjay Parwani; MNA Nazir Ahmed Bughio; MNA Ms Shahjehan Muneer Mangrio and several other senior civil officials.