A large number of lawyers in Faisalabad resorted to violence in protest on Monday after more than 30 of their colleagues were booked in a case under terrorism charges.
The case was registered against the lawyers on Sunday for allegedly manhandling Dijkot police station in-charge and his staff on a district court's premises when they reached there to produce a suspect before a judge. The suspect was said to be a brother of one of the lawyers.
On Monday, some lawyers' representatives asked the police to withdraw the case but police officials refused to oblige them. The refusal enraged the lawyers, who held a demonstration at committee chowk and got a nearby market closed.
The protesting lawyers then attacked the CPO office and injured three policemen deployed outside the office.
Faisalabad Police spokesman Amir Waheed told DawnNewsTV that a suspect named Malik Shahid, brother of lawyer Malik Arshad, was booked by police on April 25 in a case involving Rs2 million under section 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
According to the spokesman, when Dijkot Station House Officer Malik Waris produced the suspect before the court on Saturday, some lawyers attacked the policemen accompanying him. The lawyers not only hurled life threats at the cops but also tore their uniform, snatched cash, ID cards, service cards and other valuables.
The policemen were also subjected to unlawful detention, he claimed, adding that the lawyers’ act of violence terrorised the litigants and others present on the court premises. The lawyers were subsequently booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
"Now more cases will be filed against the agitating lawyers for attacking police and public properties," Waheed said.
Faisalabad District Bar President Malik Mohammad Amjad denied all the allegations and said that the SHO had arrested the brother of a lawyer without any justification. He alleged that the police officer had misbehaved with the lawyers at the court premises.
"Some junior lawyers had exchanged harsh words with policemen. Subsequently, both the parties scuffled with each other," he said and categorically denied charges of kidnapping or unlawfully detaining the policemen.
"We are protesting because the police booked the lawyers under terrorism charges and that was unfair," the lawyers' representative said.