Monday, February 08, 2021
Web Desk

Islamabad lawyers storm IHC building to protest CDA's demolition of chambers

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah trapped inside chambers as lawyers smash windows

Web Desk

  • Lawyers launch violent protest in Islamabad High Court, smash windows in Chief Justice block
  • Sources say the Special Security Unit was not present when the lawyers started their protest
  • They are protesting the demolition of their chambers by the CDA Sunday night

ISLAMABAD: Lawyers in Islamabad on Monday violently protested the demolition of their chambers by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) at the Islamabad judicial complex.

A mob of lawyers smashed windows in the Chief Justice block, chanting slogans outside the IHC Chief Justice's office.

The CDA had on Sunday night demolished illegal chambers set up by lawyers in the premises of the district and sessions court in Islamabad.

Read more: Government land in Islamabad recovered after 16 years in anti-encroachment drive

Sources say the Special Security Unit was not present when the lawyers started their protest.

Officers from the Islamabad police arrived at the scene after a long time, the sources said.

IHC CJ Athar Minallah was reportedly forced to confine himself to his chamber as the violence unfolded.

The protesting lawyers chanted slogans against the IHC CJ, while journalists and several protesters clashed when the journalists tried to record footage of the hooliganism on display.

The entrances to the IHC have since been closed since 10am, the sources said, adding that lawyers and clerks have been barred from entering, and the service road leading to the court premises has been closed.

Read more: When will CDA remove the encroachments on Islamabad’s Margalla Road?

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kyani had offered the lawyers to sit in the bar room, saying their problems will not be solved till they were willing to sit and talk.

He had asked the protesting lawyers to remove their colleagues from the chamber of the IHC CJ so they could talk. 

If the lawyers feel they have been abused, they should sit down and tell us, he said.

Talks under way with bar representatives

Talks with bar representatives are continuing in the common room of the Chief Justice block.

High court judges, including the IHC CJ and the Islamabad deputy commissioner have joined the talks.

Rangers personnel and the Islamabad IG are also present.

Six demands have been put forward by the lawyers.

They want the lawyers arrested during the protests to be released immediately.

The lawyers demanded the demolished chambers be rebuilt, and Rs500,000 be paid per chamber along with construction of the chambers, sources said.

The lawyers have asked for a transfer of the Islamabad DC and SP and a sessions judge, the sources said, adding that the lawyers also want the establishment of chambers for young lawyers on the remaining lands of a football ground till their transfer to district courts.