RAWALPINDI - The tug-of-war between the legal fraternity and officials of Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) and Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) continued on the second consecutive day on Thursday as both the parties vented their anger against each other by holding protest demonstrations, burning tyres, blocking roads and observing strikes in their relevant departments, causing immense troubles for citizens and litigants.

The situation got tense two days ago, when a brawl occurred between the RCB Cantonment Executive Officer (CEO) Rana Manzoor and his staffers and the two leading lawyers Raja Israr Abbasi advocate and his brother Raja Riaz Abbasi advocate. The RCB officials mercilessly thrashed the two lawyers, sparking massive protests by the black coats across the city leading to a police case against Rana Manzoor and three of his colleagues Senior Cantt Engineer Atiq-ur-Rahman, Water Engineer Sajjad and Enforcement Cell Incharge Fiaz Ahmed.    

The lawyers observed complete strike and did not appear in the courts. A protest demo, led by District Bar Association (DBA) President Malik Israr-ul-Haq Advocate, was staged by the lawyers’ community at Katchehri Chowk against RCB CEO and other personnel demanding their suspensions.

They blocked GT Road by torching tyres and chanted slogans against civic bodies officials.

The mess of lawyers in the major square of the city triggered a massive traffic grid lock on GT Road, New Lalazar, Moragh, Gulsitan Colony, Airport Road, Adyala Road, Mareer Chowk, Benazir Bhutto Road (BBR) and its adjoining roads, doubling the problems of commuters and pedestrians. The litigants of various cases went back their homes with postponements of their cases by the judges owing to nonappearance of lawyers.

On the other hand, the staff of RCB and CCB also observed complete strike to denounce the filing of case against their CEO with Police Station (PS) RA Bazaar on the complaint of lawyers. Wearing black ribbons on their shoulders the employees of all cadres raised vociferous slogans against the rentee of the cinema canteen. A large number of employees also carried big sticks in their hands to retaliate any expected attack or hooliganism if made and created.

Many staffers of civic bodies left their works and remained seated in the lawns of CCB and RCB. As a result, public remained affected in Civic Bodies.

Talking to media men, Raja Israr Abbasi advocate said that he along with his brother and nephew, after obtaining a stay order of the canteen of Odeon Cinema, went to the office of RCB CEO Rana Maznoor to discuss the matter with him. However, because of disagreements regarding the canteen eventually Rana became violent. He alleged that RCB officials during exchange of hot words and violence injured him, his brother as well as his nephew. Soon after the incident, Raja Israr lodged a complaint with PS RA Bazaar and got registered a case against RCB CEO and three of his men.

In a counter move, RCB CEO Rana Manzoor Ahmed, while briefing the media in his office on Thursday, alleged that Nisar Ahmed Abbasi advocate came to his office with Raja Israr Ahmed Abbasi and some others to discuss the matter. During the negotiation, the lawyers started talking loudly and hurled threats to me with the purpose of getting the site of canteen of Odeon cinema vacated, he added.

“Hearing the noise, staffers of RCB entered in the office and requested the lawyers to cool down. Instead, the lawyers grabbed me and other staffers and thrashed” Rana mentioned.

He informed that he lodged compliant with PS RA Bazaar demanding FIR against Raja Israr Ahmed Abbasi, Raja Riaz Abbasi and his nephew besides owner of canteen of Odeon cinema and other persons.

But, police did not pen inn a case owing to pressure of lawyers, he alleged demanding Regional Police Officer (RPO) Capt (retd) Muhammad Zubair for holding judicial enquiry into the whole matter for providing justice to him and other RCB personnel who have been involved in fake case by the lawyers Raja Israr Abbasi and Raja Riaz Abbasi. He said that the entire staff of civic bodies went on strike to express solidarity with him.