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Lawyers boycott courts to protest attack on judges

February 17, 2017

PESHAWAR: As lawyers on Thursday boycotted courts across the province against the suicide bomb blast against a vehicle carrying civil judges a day ago, a woman judge, who had suffered minor injuries in the terrorist activity, was discharged from a local hospital.

Amid boycott of courts by lawyers, senior police officials visited the Peshawar High Court and Judicial Complex to check the security situation and take further steps to counter terrorism on the premises.

A court official told Dawn that the injured civil judge, Amna Haider, was discharged from the Hayatabad Medical Complex, while three other injured judges, including Asif Jadoon, Tahreema Sabahat and Rabia Abbasi, continued to be in the hospital but their condition was stable.

Official driver Khursheed Khan had expired in the bombing. The family’s sole breadwinner, he left behind a widow and four children.

Injured woman judge discharged from hospital

Several judges of the subordinate judiciary used to travel in that official vehicle while coming for and returning from official duties.

When a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle hit the vehicle, it carried five civil judges cum judicial magistrates. While four of the judges had received minor injuries, the fifth remained unhurt.

Another official said the judge, who normally sat on the front seat of that vehicle, was fortunate to survive the bombing as on Wednesday he decided to travel with another judge instead of using that official vehicle.

He said few years ago when security situation was precarious in the province, the facility of official transport carrying more than one judges was suspended.

He however added that when the situation improved, the said facility was restored.

Also, Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Yahya Afridi visited the hospital on Wednesday night and inquired after the injured judges.

District and sessions judge Anwar Ali Khan also visited the injured judges and remained with them for many hours.

The CJ visited the Judicial Complex on Thursday morning and examined different sections and asked about the security arrangements there. He visited different portions of the complex and met judges in a bid to boost their morale.

In a condolence meeting of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association chaired by the association’s president, Muzzamil Khan, the participants demanded of the provincial government to increase security arrangements in courts.

They expressed reservations about the parking of cars outside the high court on the Sher Shah Suri Road and said a proper car lot should be developed.

The participants condemned the bombing and prayed for driver Khursheed Khan and the injured judges.

Several police high-ups, including Capital City Police Chief Tahir Khan and Senior Superintendent of Police Sajjad Khan, visited the high court and Judicial Complex to examine security arrangements there.

SSP Sajjad Khan told reporters that the police had enhanced security arrangements in the provincial capital and other areas.

He said the police had been conducting search and strike operations for the purpose with the help of other law-enforcement agencies.

The SSP said Peshawar was surrounded by tribal areas from three sides making the provision of fool-proof security cover to it a challenging job.

He added that the police had been trying their level best to avert acts of terrorism.

The SSP said the police had been holding meetings with high-ups of other law-enforcement agencies to make coordinated efforts and plug loopholes if any in security arrangements.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2017