LAHORE - Lawyers Friday staged a protest by locking all the sessions courts’ gates against police for registration of an FIR against some of their colleague.

The police booked the lawyers for beating a cop under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The protesters locked the court premises and chanted slogans against the police registering the FIR under section 7 of ATA and sections 353, 342, 506 and 186 PPC on the allegations of thrashing, kidnapping, criminally intimidating a sub-inspector of Nawab Town police Station.

On the report of SI Samar Riaz Khan, the Islampura police last Thursday booked advocates Saif Khokhar, Nabeel Haider, Mustafa Khokhar and 14 others.

Earlier, a lawyers’ team met District and Sessions Judge Abid Hussain Qureshi and held negotiations; the district judge assured them that he would make an all-out effort to get the cases withdrawn as 7ATA had been added in the FIR.

Then a meeting between the Lahore Bar Association office-bearers and police high-ups continued for hours but they could not break the stalemate during the negotiations on the issue. The DBA was demanding immediate withdrawal of the FIR launched the lawyers. On the other side, the police officers were not willing to do so.

Till the filing this report, the deadlock continued as per Lahore Bar Association Secretary Sohail Murshid.

As the lawyers community went on strike and locked all the gates of the courts premises. the litigants who reached there even from far off areas of the Punjab province were seen in miserable condition sitting on footpaths or wandering about here and there in order the kill the time or waiting for end to the lawyers strike. However, the lawyers were allowed to enter the court premises.

Complainant Samar Riaz stated in the FIR that at 12:00pm, a police officer deployed in the court of Addistional and Sessions Judge Azhar Iqbal Ranjha telephoned him that the court had summoned him within 30 minutes.

Due to traffic mess, he added, he got late, and at 1:00pm again he was called by Naib Court Imran and asked him to reach the court immediately. He said that he reached the court at 1:00pm.

As he reached the court, the complainant alleged, the accused attacked him in the sessions court, thrashed and tortured him, and also criminally intimidated him.

He said that they also tore off his uniform and brought him to the first floor thrashing.

He alleged that the accused also kept him in illegal custody in a room. He also alleged that the lawyers had given him murder threats in case he filed an FIR for legal action against them.

Police briefly observed pen-down strike to condemn lawyers’ torture.  A police official said the strike was “symbolic” and it was observed at all police stations and offices in Lahore . He said the law enforcement agency went on pen-down strike. to condemn the lawyers’ torture .