SARGODHA - During a protest for establishment of a Lahore High Court bench in Sargodha, lawyers on Monday occupied the Canal Rest House and termed it a symbolic LHC bench building.

Meanwhile, they narrowly escaped a clash with the Irrigation Department officials as a huge contingent of police reached the spot. Earlier, the Lawyers took out a rally and laid a siege to the Director Excise and Taxation Office. The infuriated lawyers sent all the staff out and locked the office.

On the other hand, a traders association, transport unions and civil society organizations have announced to observe a complete shutdown and wheel-jam strike on March 8 as the Punjab chief minister is scheduled to visit Sargodha on the same day.

On the call of District Bas Association, the lawyers carrying clubs started the rally from the district courts road. Led by DBA President Syed Tayyub Sharazi, Secretary General Malik Shafqat Awan, they marched towards the Excise and Taxation Office and then reached the t Canal Rest House.

As the Irrigation Department officials gathered there, the situation became critical but the police reached timely. Hundreds of lawyers entered the office and declared it a symbolical High Court Bench building. During a meeting of the DBA, a traders' association and a transporters' union, it was decided that the strike would be observed on March 8.

They also decided that if the chief minister laid the foundation stone of the High Court Sargodha Bench building, all the rallies would reach at their fixed venue and Nawafil would be offered there.