LAHORE, Oct 19: In what appeared to be a target killing, a senior lawyer was shot dead near the Lahore High Court by unknown assailants on Friday morning.

Advocate Shakir Ali Rizvi had left his private chamber at Jain Mandar Chowk along with his driver, Sohail Masih, and nephew Syed Naeem Abbas Rizvi by his car. When the car reached near the Lahore High Court, two armed motorcyclists opened fire on it.

In the attack, Mr Rizvi suffered critical bullet injuries while his driver and nephew remained unhurt. He was taken to Ganga Ram Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

Lytton Road police registered an FIR under sections 302 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code against two unidentified assailants on the complaint of Syed Naeem Abbas Rizvi, also nephew of the deceased.

Family of the deceased said he had been receiving life threats for his role for the Shia community members and pursuing their cases.

Late Riziv was also defending Ghulam Raza Naqvi, a leader of banned outfit Sipah-i-Muhammad, in different cases. Presently, Naqvi is behind the bars. Advocate Rizvi was survived by his wife, nine daughters and a son. His funeral will be held on Saturday (today).

The murder of Advocate Rizvi sparked anger among the legal fraternity as local lawyers abandoned their work and went on a strike immediately after the news of his killing spread. They boycotted court’s proceedings and strongly condemned the gruesome murder of a senior lawyer.

The Lahore High Court Bar Association convened an emergency meeting to lodge protest against the gory incident and demanded the government should ensure immediate arrest of Rizvi’s killers.

The bar also constituted a committee comprising its senior members to monitor the investigation and to cooperate with police in arresting the culprits. The bar appealed to religious scholars of all sects to play their role for curbing sectarian violence.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial also took a suo motu notice of the lawyer’s murder and directed the Punjab police inspector general to submit a report within 24 hours.

The chief justice expressed anger over the law and order situation in the province and observed the murder was a result of serious negligence on part of the police department.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also took notice of the incident and ordered immediate arrest of the killers.

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