NAROWAL: Armed men shot dead a lawyer outside his chamber in the district courts on Tuesday.

Advocate Rao Muhammad Ashraf, a 50-year-old resident of Lala village on the outskirts of Narowal, was standing outside his chambers in the Narowal courts when gunmen opened fire on him. Critically injured, Rao Ashraf was taken to the District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital but he breathed his last on the way.

The news angered lawyers who immediately boycotted courts in protest against killing of a colleague. A number of lawyers of the District Bar Association reached the hospital and protested against police.

The agitated lawyers said that just three months ago, former District Bar Association president Rana Shahid Noor was shot dead in broad daylight. They said there was growing unrest in the community as police had failed to provide security to them.

The Saddar police took the body of Rao Ashraf into custody and shifted it to the mortuary for postmortem and necessary legal action. Deputy Superintendent of Police Malik Muhammad Khalil said police had cordoned off the district. He said special raiding teams had been formed on the instructions of District Police Officer Syed Ali Akbar to arrest the suspects.

The DSP said the murder seemed an act of ill will but thorough investigations would help find out the cause.

The lawyers demanded that Chief Minister Usman Bazdar order security of lawyers.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2021

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