LAHORE: Police arrested several lawyers as their protest at the GPO Chowk near Lahore High Court intensified on Wednesday. The lawyers are demonstrating against the division of civil courts and terrorism cases against their colleagues. The Lahore High Court Bar Association has denied conducting negotiations with the police. On the other hand, lawyers have kicked out petitioners from the courtroom of Justice Anwar-ul-Haq Pannu. Speaking Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Faisal Kamran said the police will continue to show restraint, but will take action according to the law if there is a violation from the lawyers. “The police are showing maximum patience and restraint,” he said, adding that the police only used tear gas after lawyers pelted stones at them. “One of our SHO and one constable has been injured,” he said. The DIG Operations said there are at least 2,000 personnel for the security of the high court. DIG Operations Faisal has also reached the GPO Chowk for negotiations with the lawyers. Lahore High Court Bar Association’s Munir Bhatti said the lawyers are demanding the rule of law in the country as well as the delivery of justice and an independent judiciary. “We will see if there will be negotiations,” he said, demanding the withdrawal of notices of transfer of courts and seven Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) cases. He also said that the lawyers will not go back to the high courts without holding a session of the general house. The lawyers are seated on the steps of the Orange Line station at the location to avoid tear gas shelling by the police. The metro bus station at the GPO Chowk has been closed, while traffic flow has been severely affected on Mall Road. Earlier today, chaos ensued near the provincial high court after lawyers were baton-charged by the police.The protesting lawyers tried to enter the high court by removing the barricades around its premises and threw stones at the police.



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