An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday sent 46 lawyers allegedly involved in ransacking and torturing different peoples in Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) case to jail on judicial remand. Arrested lawyers were produced in the court of ATC Judge Abdul Qayyum Khan in PIC.
The police had made tight security arrangements during production of lawyers, however no unpleasant scene was witnessed during the hearing.
Two FIRs were registered against accused under terrorism charges including 7ATA and others with Shadman police station. Ghulam Murtaza Chaudhry, vice president of Supreme Court Bar, Sughra Gulzar, advocates Nausheen Ambar and Tahir Minhaas represented the accused lawyers. The investigating officer sought the physical remand of accused for 14 days but the accused were sent to jail on judicial remand.
On the other hand, a petition against the arrest of lawyers has been set for hearing in LHC and Justice Anwarul Haq will hear the same on Friday. Meanwhile, Rangers have been deployed at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in the wake of the attack. Rangers personnel have taken charge of the PIC, and started performing their duties outside the hospital building. Punjab police have constituted special teams to conduct raids to arrest other lawyers involved in the incident, and in the first phase, all lawyers who have been nominated in the cases will be arrested.
A police official seeking anonymity said that police have been directed to arrest any lawyer dressed in black coat and roaming in the city.
In the second phase, CCTV footages will be examined to identify the remaining lawyers. A forensic team was also sent to the PIC for collecting evidence to present in the court.
Commenting on the unpleasant episode, a young lawyer Mian Dawood said that had the government taken action immediately after the controversial video being whirled on social media against lawyers and arrested few doctors involved in it, the loss could have been minimized.
Sources said that office bearers of different associations of lawyers were trying for the early release of their arrested peers and quashment of the FIRs registered against them.
The lawyers called a meeting of different bodies and announced strike across the province in favour of their demands.
On Dec 11, Punjab Home Department has approved the deployment of Rangers at key locations of the province to maintain the law and order situation of Lahore.
A notification has been issued by the Ministry of Interior to maintain the law and order in Punjab. They have been deployed at Governor House, G.O.R I and II (both side), Punjab Assembly, GPO Chowk at Mall Road and Punjab’s Civil Secretariat. It further read that troops have also been posted at Aiwan-e-Addal, Supreme Court of Pakistan (Lahore Registry), Lahore High Court, office of PPO/IGP, and Punjab Institute of Cardiology and other companies for backup.
The Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Zulfiqar Hameed, in his talk to the media, said that more arrests were being made and all actions would be taken in accordance with the Law. “All possible footages [of the clash] have been obtained,” he said, adding that police were unaware of lawyers’ protest yesterday and when it rushed to the spot, they pushed the lawyers twice out of the hospital.
Responding to a question that whether an action would be taken against the Prime Minister’s nephew who was also involved in the protest, the CCPO said an action would be taken against all those who were responsible for the violent clash.