Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Police Fired tear gas at Lawyers and Civil Society's Protest at Judges Colony

ISLAMABAD: Police fired tear gas shells when lawyers and members of the civil society reached outside Judges Colony on Monday and tried to remove the barbed wires to reach the residence of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The police fired tear gas at scores of demonstrating lawyers, who were demanding that President Pervez Musharraf reinstate Justice Iftikhar.

Helmeted police in riot gear fired several canisters at about 200 lawyers who were shouting slogans outside the residence of Justice Iftikhar. The protesters dispersed and then they regrouped and started chanting slogans against police. They headed towards Ministers' Colony but the police prevented them to do so. Many lawyers were seen coughing and bending over after being hit by clouds of acrid smoke. " alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5173812788342859554" />

The protesters picked up the tear gas canisters and threw them back at policemen who retreated before regrouping. The lawyers had gathered outside the CJP residence after hearing unconfirmed television reports that the government had lifted the house-arrest restrictions on his wife and three children.

The lawyers became agitated when it became apparent that the reports were apparently incorrect.

"Free the children, Go Musharraf Go!" the lawyers shouted. They also demanded entry into the CJP house, which is surrounded by barbed wires.

The protestors also tried to attack the vehicle of Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Justice Malik Abdul Qayyum, who was on the way to his official residence situated at the Ministers' Colony.

Earlier, Interior Ministry's official met CJ Iftikhar and offered conditional release to him and said that his family members were free to move any where and children were allowed to go their academic institutes.

The Interior Ministry official told the CJP that he would be released if he agreed that he would not go to the Supreme Court.

According to the source, Justice Iftikhar said that he would not accept any condition and that he would visit the SC right after his release so that he could call his fellow judges to form a full-court bench to further proceed with Justice (r) Wajihuddin's petition upon which the Supreme Court would nullify the emergency rule, enforced by the then chief of army staff (COAS).

Later, the lawyers and civil society workers went to the Secretariat police station where they submitted an application to register a first information report (FIR) against the illegal detention of Justice Iftikhar and his family. The Secretariat police station received the application and told that it would consider it for FIR.

The application says that a criminal case be launched against President Pervez Musharraf, interior minister, interior secretary, chief commissioner, inspector general, deputy commissioner, senior superintendent of police and other officials of the Islamabad Administration for keeping Justice Iftikhar and his family under illegal and undeclared house detention.

Online adds: Caretaker government while deciding to suspend the detention orders of family members of deposed CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry and other deposed judges has allowed them to move freely.

Sources privy to Islamabad administration told the then chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges who had not taken oath under PCO were house arrested along with their family members following November 3 steps.

The caretaker government had released the detained lawyers and in the second phase the family members of house arrested judges had been allowed to move freely. They can go every where including schools, markets, colleges and other places and meet other people. However deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other deposed judges will remain house arrested.

(courtesy The Post)