RAHIM YAR KHAN

Police personnel tortured lawyers and tore their clothes for demanding removal of vehicles from District Courts Road here on Tuesday.

As per details, senior lawyer and ex-Punjab Bar Council member Mumtaz Mustafa was coming to his chamber at district courts when he requested some Elite Force personals to give way by removing police vehicle that was parked outside Police Lines main gate to block vehicles entry to District Courts Road.

But the Elite Force personals in the presence of City A Division SHO Jamshaid Shah refused to do so and started beating him due to which his clothes were torn.

Meanwhile, two lawyers Falak Sher Drigh and Malik Madni Khokhar also reached there but the Elite Force personnel also tortured them. Meanwhile, other lawyers came to know about the incident and they rushed to the spot where a scuffle broke out between the policemen and lawyers. On the occasion, an Elite Force employee threatened the lawyers with his pistol but some lawyers snatched it from him.

Later, the lawyers gathered on the district courts premises chanted slogans. They demanded immediate suspension of DPO Sohail Zafar chattha.

Meanwhile, lawyers attacked SP (Investigations) Tanveer Hussain Tunio when he reached outside District and Sessions court to inform the DSJ about the incident. He, however, managed to escape from the scene.

The angry lawyers also asked the police employees deputed on court security to leave the courts.

Later, District and Sessions Judge Syed Mehboob Qadir Shah took notice of the issue and he along with Senior Civil Judge Zulfiqar Ahmed Naeem ordered opening of all roads including Jail Road, District Courts Road and DPO Office Road which the police complied with.

On the other hand, District Bar Association office-bearers and Mumtaz Mustafa told this correspondent that the incident occurred with the permission of DPO.

They pointed out that there were three roads, DPO office Road, Jail Road and Courts Road leading to district courts, different schools and colleges but DPO had ordered their closure in the name of security.

They informed that heavy cement blocks on DPO Office Road always caused traffic jam, especially during peak hours. They claimed that they had got orders for a case against DPO and other police officials from DSJ and were going to register it.

Meanwhile, the Tehsil Bar Associations of Sadiqabad, Khanpur and Liaqatpur observed a complete strike against the police highhandedness.

When contacted, DPO Sohail Zafar Chattha did not reply although a text message was sent to his cellphone to seek his comment.