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IHC sealed after lawyers ransack Chief Justice’s courtroom

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of lawyers forcibly entered and ransacked the courtroom of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Monday and forced judges to leave their courtrooms.

The lawyers were protesting against razing of their chambers in the district and sessions court by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) conducted an anti-encroachment operation. The premises of the Islamabad High Court has been sealed after the incident while all lawyers and public have been barred from entering the court.

The lawyers forcefully entered into the courtroom and raised slogans against the Chief Justice who was confined to his chambers for several hours. They also entered the office of senior judge Tahir Mehmood. 

The enraged lawyers entered the chief justice’s courtroom, smashed windows and chanted slogans against the judge, Islamabad administration and the CDA. They also scuffled with journalists while a heavy contingent of police has been called in to control the situation.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani offered to address the grievances of the protesting lawyers through dialogue to resolve the issue. He called on the lawyers to leave the courtroom and sit down for talks but the lawyers have refused to accede to his offer.

The CDA razed illegal structures built on the premises of the District and Sessions Court on Monday morning. The CDA enforcement team recovered the public land in Islamabad after demolishing the illegal chambers built in the premises of the court. 

The CDA said 350 kanals of government land have been recovered in the last week during an anti-encroachment operation in Sector I-15/4 of the federal capital. CDA said it was able to recover the sector after 16 years, adding that those who interfered in the CDA operation were arrested

In a statement, the authority said the land mafia had occupied the land for years and constructed a house, boundary wall, shades for animals, and other buildings. The CDA enforcement department deputy director, assistant directors and other staff took part in the operation.