LAHORE - Police on Thursday registered terror cases against hundreds of lawyers a day after they barged into the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. At least 30 lawyers were sent to jail while hunt for others is on.

Talking to the media, CCPO Zulfiqar Hameed admitted police failure to stop lawyers.

Hameed claimed that negotiations between doctors and lawyers were arranged a day before the incident and both parties apparently agreed to resolve the dispute.

 “Police managed to push back the demonstrators twice but used force when they entered the PIC (building),” Hameed admitted while referring to the brutal attack on the largest cardiac hospital. TV footage however refutes Hameed’s claims. A video clip shows policemen walking along the lawyers as they entered the building after breaking the main gate. The protesting lawyers pushed back the anti-riot units easily and entered the hospital.

The CCPO said that FIR had been lodged against the lawyers and investigators were examining various video clips to identify the suspects. “Those who were involved in violence are being identified and many faces have already been identified. He said the law will adopt its due course and lawyers all actions will be taken according to the law.  “No one is above the law and strict action is being taken against the law breakers,” he said.

250 booked on terror charges

Heavy police contingents have been deployed outside the Punjab Assembly building, Lahore High Court, PIC and Civil Secretariat in addition the anti-riot units.

Police sources say two separate FIRs were registered with Shadman police against more than 250 protesting lawyers under section 7 of the anti-terrorism act and several other sections of the law. According to one of the FIRs, three patients died on the hospital beds when doctors and para medical staff n

The case was registered on Wednesday under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 290 (public nuisance), 291 (continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) The First Information Report (FIR) registered on Wednesday on the complaint of the PIC at the Shadman police station named the general secretary of the Lahore Bar Association Malik Maqsood Khokhar, vice president of the LBA Ijaz Basra and LBA presidential hopeful Rana Intizar among those who were leading the lawyers, provoking them and giving them the instructions that anyone including doctors and medical staff who get in the way should be unable to get away safely.

The Shadman police registered two separate FIR (copies of which are available with The Nation) against the protesters. The first FIR was lodged on the complaint of Saqib Shafi Sheikh of the PIC under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 322 (manslaughter), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging their duty),186 (obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions), 354 (assault or criminal force to a woman with an intent to outrage her modesty), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 337-H (2) (punishment for hurt by rash or negligent act) and 395 (punishment for dacoity) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The FIR further states that one group of lawyers entered and vandalised the nurses’ ward. The shirt of the nurses’ ward in-charge was torn and her locket was snatched away by the attackers.

As police attempted to disperse the lawyers from the PIC, some of them fired warning shots. The clashes lasted for more than two hours. The authorities were yet to estimate the losses.

According to the second FIR registered on the complaint of Inspector Syed Intikhab Hussain, some lawyers equipped with a pistols and sticks approached the police van and with an intention to kill, the opened direct fire on him.

He says that after realising the gravity of the situation, he tried to flee but his vehicle climbed onto the footpath and lawyers surrounded it and started damaging it. He said that one of the protesters announced to set the police vehicle on fire and to kill the police officials, adding that the protesters fired on the police vehicle and set it on fire. This case was also registered under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 290, 291,148, 353, 324, 436 and 186 of the Pakistan Penal Code.