LAHORE - On the call made by Punjab Bar Council (PbBC), the lawyers here like other parts of the Punjab province observed strike to express solidarity with the black coats protesting for the establishment of Lahore High Court benches in Faisalabad, Gujranwala and other divisions.

The lawyers observed a boycott of court proceedings express solidarity with the protesters. Meanwhile, the litigants who came from far off areas of the district and the province returned disappointed as their cases were adjourned till the next dates without any development. They said that they had travelled from far off areas of the province and the district but their lawyers had refused to appear before the courts due to strike.

Likewise, the black coats continued their strike for 11th day in Gujranwala. The entry point of the session courts remained locked by the protesters. Last Friday, a lawyers delegation under the leadership of bar president had met with the Punjab government authorities but the meeting could not be got fruitful. District Bar Association President Noor Muhammad Mirza while addressing the protesting lawyers said that the strike would continue till the fulfillment of their demand.

The Faisalabad-based lawyers have been on strike against the non-establishment of a LHC Bench in Faisalabad for the last 11 days. As a result of their strike, the litigants are suffering a lot as all roads leading to district courts remain blocked by the local police.

In addition, also commuters face hardship due to blockage of traffic. Litigants, who came from far-off areas of the district, were seen sitting in miserable condition on footpaths and waiting for an end to the lawyers’ strike.

The protesting lawyers warn that in case their demand was not fulfilled, the lawyers of Faisalabad division will observe strike for indefinite period, will stage demonstrations on the city roads and even shut down the Motorway and other main roads leading to Faisalabad.

Holding placards and banners, the lawyers held protests and did not appear in courts creating problems for the petitioners and delaying the court’s proceedings. Boycotting the day’s proceedings, they had closed the gates of the court and stopped petitioners from entering the court’s premises.

Besides, Faisalabad and Gujranwala, similar protest is also being carried out in Sargodha and Toba Tek Singh as they have been demanding for the establishment of an LHC bench in Faisalabad and Gujranwala to ensure speedy and cheaper justice to the residents of the cities.

The lawyers’ presence in the protest rallies and their participation in the protest camp set up in front of the district courts is increasing with the passage of time. The council fully supports the lawyers’ rights but not their illegal activities and vandalism being carrying out for acceptance of their demand for establishment of LHC benches in Faisalabad, Gujranwala and other divisions, an office-bearer of the PbBC said.  The presidents of divisional bar councils had met with the PbBC leaders to solve the issue, said Bushra Qamar, the chairperson of PbBC Executive Committee.