LAHORE, Nov 29: At least 10 lawyers were injured in a clash with police at Aiwan-i-Adl here on Thursday during a protest against General (retd) Musharraf taking oath as president.

The protesting lawyers called upon the political parties to boycott the elections.

Hundreds of lawyers came out after a general body meeting of the Lahore Bar Association and remained at the gate for about half an hour. They were pushed back repeatedly by a heavy contingent of police.

LBA president Syed Muhammad Shah wrangled with the police as he tried to take the lawyers out on the road.

When some policemen dragged a couple of lawyers after a scuffle some lawyers started beating up a policeman in plain clothes, who was rescued by other lawyers.

In the meantime, someone from the lawyers hurled a brick towards the gate triggering a brawl in which stones, soft drink bottles and broken pieces of chairs and tables were used.

Advocates Shah and Azar Latif pleaded for calm and subsequently police allowed the lawyers to come out on the road. The lawyers chanted slogans against General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and Lahore High Court Chief Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain.

The Islampura police registered cases against about 150 lawyers under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order and sections 324, 353 and 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

A capital city police official told Dawn that four DSPs, two inspectors and seven constables were injured when they tried to stop the lawyers from gathering outside Aiwan-i-Adl.

The LBA president said: “Lawyers will not accept any elections held under General (retd) Musharraf. This is not an election but a process of selection.” He appealed to political parties to boycott the elections and censure Musharraf through a mass movement.

He said till the restoration of judiciary to its pre-Nov 3 position the lawyers would continue their movement.

He said they would try to take out a rally and warned that if police used batons, the lawyers would retaliate.

Pakistan Medical Association representative Dr Zahid Mohiuddin, LBA secretaries Khawar Bashir and Shamim Malik also spoke on the occasion.

In Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and other towns of Sindh, lawyers boycotted court proceedings.

In Hyderabad, they held a general body meeting in the district bar room. They condemned the detention of judges who had refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitution Order and expressed solidarity with them. Similar meetings were held in Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah.

In Peshawar, lawyers observed a ‘black day’ in protest against Gen (retd) Musharraf’s oath-taking as a civilian president while in Mardan they took out a procession against the imposition of emergency.

In Balochistan, the lawyers observed a black day on the call of the Pakistan Bar Council.

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