LAHORE: Angry lawyers in Lahore are attempting to break into the Punjab Assembly Tuesday, having so far succeeded in setting fire to the security shed in front of the Punjab Assembly gate.
|Protesters burning a shed. — DawnNews screengrab|
Police have barricaded the Punjab Assembly from the inside to prevent lawyers who are protesting in front of the building from entering.
Barriers in front of the Punjab Assembly have been broken down.
After protesters attempted to enter into the Punjab Assembly yesterday, it was closed last night and is being guarded by unarmed policemen.
Law and order situation in Lahore
A senior police official advised against the hearing of any cases in the city today, he told Dawn.
The law and order situation in Lahore has deteriorated, with lawyers' protests increasing in intensity.
In light of the law and order situation in the city, the Metro Bus stop from MAO College to Gajjumata has been suspended due to protests occurring in the vicinity of the college.
The protests on Mall Road have restarted after a short pause, and GPO Chowk has been closed for traffic, reports Dawn News.
There are no police forces present at Mall Road. Policemen on the scene left as protests took a turn for the worse in order to save themselves.
Police mobile overturned
|An Elite Forces vehicle being vandalised by protesters. ─ DawnNews screengrab|
Lawyers surrounded an Elite Forces vehicle at the scene, taking to the mobile with sticks, beating the windows in.
Initially, protesters tried to set it on fire. After vandalising the vehicle, a handful of protesters succeeded in turning it onto its side.
According to a senior bar member, a 'rebel group' of lawyers of the Lahore High Court are engaging in violent protests, having rejected attempts to make them see reason
A lone policeman present at the scene was nabbed by protesters, who accused him of spying on them, and beat him.
'Playing politics with our bodies'
Young lawyers protesting outside the Lahore High Court accused their seniors of 'playing politics with their bodies', saying they had been 'sold'.
When President Lahore High Court Bar Association Masood Chishti arrived on the scene, attempting to defuse the situation, protesters misbehaved with him ─ even trying to beat him ─ and accused him of trying to 'sell their blood', calling him a representative of the government, not of the lawyers.
The lawyers are protesting outside judge's gate of the LHC, saying that until Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif makes an appearance, they will not move.
Call for strike
The Punjab Bar Council has called for a strike on May 27 and 28 to condemn the Daska shootings.
Protesters have been sloganeering against the government, calling for the arrest and punishment of the Daska police station SHO inspector Shahzad Warraich who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of two lawyers in Daska yesterday.
Lawyers in the province have started protests following the brutal murders of two office-bearers of the Daska Bar Association yesterday.
Calls for protest came from the Punjab Bar Council and the Lahore Bar Association.
Sporadic violent protests erupted in several cities of Punjab after two lawyers, including the president of the local bar association, were shot dead on Monday.
Daska police station SHO inspector Shahzad Warraich allegedly fired at the lawyers who were protesting outside the Daska tehsil municipal administration (TMA) office on kutchehry road against its record keeper for allegedly misbehaving with a lawyer, Amir Shahzad Bajwa.
The bullets fired by police hit three lawyers — Rana Abbas, Irfan Chohan and Zohaib Sahi — and a passerby.
Rana Abbas died at the Daska hospital and Irfan Chohan lost his life while he was being taken to Lahore’s Mayo Hospital. The condition of the injured lawyer Zohaib Sahi and passerby Shahbaz was stated to be critical at the Daska Civil Hospital.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the incident, saying all responsible police officials would be taken to task.
Read more: Lawyers up in arms against police