KARACHI: Thousands of commuters on Wednesday suffered hardship for hours as they remained stuck in traffic due to the blockade of the main Korangi Road by lawyers protesting against an assault on their colleague by some personnel of what they called a security force-run organisation following an accident on Tuesday night.

DIG-Traffic Ahmed Nawaz Cheema told Dawn that the blockade of the road lasted for 12 hours, from 10:06pm on Tuesday to 10:30am on Wednesday, and traffic remained stuck whereas traffic flow was also adversely affected on adjoining arteries and alternative roads.

However, the roads opened for vehicular traffic after the lawyers ended their protest, he said.

Narrating the incident that prompted the protest, official sources and lawyer representative Advocate Abdul Qadir said that an accident took place between a lawyers’ car and a double-cabin vehicle carrying some personnel in plain clothes of the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) on Korangi Road on Tuesday night.

After that, both sides engaged in a scuffle and the lawyers called Madadgar 15. The police rushed to the spot and in order to clear the main artery for traffic, they ‘brought’ the lawyers and four plain-clothes personnel to the Defence police station.

In the meantime, the sources said, around 40-50 personnel in plain clothes arrived at the police station and beat policemen there. They also took away three policemen and a lawyer to an unknown location. However, the four were later released.

Later, the lawyers staged a sit-in on main Korangi Road, demanding registration of an FIR against the personnel of the government organisation. The police facilitated the talks between the two sides and the sit-in was ended after they reached an “understanding”, the sources added.

KBA condemns assault on lawyers

The Karachi Bar Association (KBA) condemned the assault on members of the legal fraternity on Wednesday.

“The Karachi Bar Association strongly condemns and protests the misbehaviour, unlawful acts, torture, brutality, and shameful actions of the law enforcement agencies (FWO) against advocates… within the premises of the Defence police station,” said a KBA statement.

“It is very shameful and disgusting that our agency forces are fighting with their civilians instead of showing some courage in their proper domain,” it added.

The KBA demanded that the army chief conduct a fair and proper investigation and punish those responsible in accordance with the law.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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