KARACHI / HYDERABAD / SUKKUR: The legal fraternity across Sindh boycotted courts on Tuesday, protesting the killings of two lawyers in Punjab on Monday.
Many people have taken to the streets across the country to condemn the killings. The uproar erupted after Daska SHO Shehzad Warraich opened fire on lawyers protesting near the Daska police station, resulting in the deaths of Daska Bar Association (DBA) president Rana Khalid Abbas, advocate Irfan Chauhan and a pedestrian.
The legal fraternity in Karachi boycotted courts on Tuesday observing a strike against the killings. The city’s bustling district and sessions courts gave a deserted look as lawyers did not appear before the judges.
The Karachi Bar Association held a general body meeting to condemn the ‘heinous’ crime and offered funeral prayers in absentia for the two slain lawyers. “We don’t want compensation,” said KBA president Naeem Qureshi. “We just want justice for our fraternity.”
Meanwhile, the Karachi divisions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf staged a demonstration at Karachi Press Club on the orders of party chairperson Imran Khan. According to reports, both the deceased lawyers belonged to the PTI.
PTI Karachi division head Ali Zaidi condemned the ‘brutality of the Punjab police’ and accused the Punjab government of giving its police ‘a licence to kill citizens’. He demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter.
Lawyers boycotted the proceedings of the Sindh High Court (SHC), district and session courts and other subordinate courts in the districts of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions on Tuesday. SHC Bar Association Hyderabad president Ghulamullah Chang and general secretary Ayaz Hussain Tunio demanded the immediate arrest of the policemen involved in the murders.
Lawyers throughout upper Sindh followed suit, also demonstrating against the action of masked men in the premises of the SHC, Karachi, last Saturday.
Responding to the call of the Pakistan Bar Council, the legal fraternity throughout upper Sindh boycotted court proceedings and staged demonstrations outside court premises.
In Sukkur, a large number of lawyers staged a protest outside the district and high courts. The leaders of the lawyers, including Shafqat Rahim Rajput and Ali Haider Ada, strongly condemned the ‘hooliganism’ of the Punjab police. They added that the killings of the two lawyers proved that the police, who are meant to be the guardians of lives and properties of the people, have become killers. They demanded the immediate resignations of the chief minister and police IG of Punjab.
They further criticised the Sindh government, saying that it had completely politicised the police due to which incidents like the one on Saturday had become rampant. They said that the masked men had the support of the police, which proved that the government did not care about the sanctity of the judiciary. They demanded the removal of the Sindh chief minister and Sindh IG.
Similar demonstrations were also held in other cities and towns of upper Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2015.
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