LAHORE/SIALKOT: Lawyers in different cities were boycotting court proceedings and holding demonstrations on Tuesday in protest of the killing of two lawyers by a police SHO in Sialkot the previous day.
Rallies were carried out in different cities today in which demonstrators chanted slogans against the government and police.
Furious lawyers protested outside the Punjab Assembly, setting fire to a tent outside the building. Police arrived at the scene and was successful in dispersing the crowd, but protestors later reached the Lahore High Court building for a protest sit-in.
Elsewhere in Punjab, lawyers carried out a complete boycott of courts in Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Sialkot, Gujranwala, and Sargodha districts. A similar scene was witnessed in Sindh province where members of the legal fraternity boycotted court proceedings in Khairpur, Nawabshah and Larkana.
Demonstrators turned violent in Rahim Yar Khan as they pelted stones at cars and broke down the gate of the DCO office during their protest.
Protestors turned violent in Gurjanwala as well as they broke down the gates of the DCO office.
Daska bar president laid to rest
Meanwhile, one of two slain lawyers – Rana Khalid Abbas, the president of the Sialkot's tehsil Daska bar association – were laid to rest in Daska tehsil of Sialkot district.
Funeral prayers were offered in absentia for the two lawyers in Rawalpindi, Okara, Shahkot, Pakpattan, Mandi Bahauddin, Chiniot, Lahore and Faisalabad.
Protests had erupted in several cities of Punjab on Monday after Abbas and lawyer Irfan Chauhan were reportedly shot dead by the SHO of the Daska City police station.
Following the killings, enraged lawyers held violent demonstrations in Sialkot, Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Multan, with protestors clashing with police and setting at least three buildings, including the DSP's office in Daska, on fire.
The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the main lawyers’ association, had announced that a nationwide strike would be observed today in which lawyers would hold rallies in protest of the killings.The council also announced three days of mourning.
In a statement, the council condemned the murder of the two lawyers, demanding the Punjab government to immediately arrest the killers and take measures to ensure the protection of lawyers.
The Islamabad District Bar and High Court Bar associations also announced a boycott of court proceedings across the country.
The Islamabad Bar Association had demanded immediate resignation from Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. The lawyers have also demanded neutral investigation into the incident.
JIT formed to probe Daska incident: home minister
Punjab Home Minister Colonel (retd) Shuja Khanzada appealed to lawyers to remain calm as he announced that a joint investigation team (JIT) had been formed to probe the Daska incident.
The home minister said the incident was the individual action of a single police officer and action would be taken against those responsible.
Punjab govt announces judicial inquiry
Earlier, the Punjab provincial government announced that a judicial inquiry would be carried out to ascertain those responsible for the killings.
In a statement, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said that an inquiry was being conducted into the incident and that the culprits would be brought to justice.
The chief minister has written a letter to the Lahore High Court for the judicial inquiry.
Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab, Mushtaq Sukhera also vowed that a transparent investigation would be conducted saying that a probe would be launched in accordance with all legal requirements.