LAHORE - The violent clashes between the police and a group of anti-judges lawyers have put the Punjab government in hot water as the Lower Mall witnessed worst unrest during the last two days, turning the leading artery into battleground. Well-placed police sources said that Punjab government had directed the top police officers to 'tackle the protesting black-coats either by force or by 'support to restore law and order in the Punjab Capital. First the top cops will hold negotiations with the angry lawyers and take their leaders into confidence but if they did not stop protesting, the police will be given free hand to strictly deal with the lawyers, a senior police officer said, requesting his name not be mentioned. The task has been given to the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Aslam Tareen and Operations Police Chief Muhammad Sardar, he added. In a late night development, police sources revealed, the top police officers personally contacted few leaders of the lawyers to hold negotiations but the angry leaders straightforwardly refused to meet the cops in this regard. The police officers are still in touch with the lawyers leaders through their subordinates but if they did not show any flexibility, you know, the police have been given free hand to deal with the black-coats, a credible police source told this report by phone late on Saturday night, when contacted. Sources in the Punjab government said that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah has activated the pro-PML-N lawyers to find out some out-of-the-box solution. Earlier, the PML-N backed lawyers were asked to hold pro-judges protest demonstration but later they were stopped from doing this after the security agencies reported to the government that such action could set off clashes among the lawyers. Sources believed that the PPP leaders including former Attorney General of Pakistan Sardar Latif Khosa are backing the anti-judges lawyers to trigger political instability in the provincial metropolis. The brutal clashes erupted on Friday and again on Saturday when the police wielded to batons and fired tear gas shells to disrupt the lawyers protest rallies, leaving scores injured from both sides. On Saturday, sources said, the top cops contacted the provincial hierarchy to seek 'guidance after a group of lawyers attacked the on-guard policemen, who were trying to stop the protest rally. As the Punjab government gave green signal to the police, the cops retaliated brutally, tortured the lawyers, fired tear gas shells and wielded to batons on the black-coats, leaving dozens of lawyers injured. However, a police spokesman claimed that due to the attack of lawyers four constables and two ASIs were injured while two police vehicles were also badly damaged as a result of stone throwing by lawyers.