Police tear gas and baton-charge sacked CJP’s supporters.

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* Protesters try to remove barbed wire around sacked CJP’s house
By Atif Khan

ISLAMABAD: Police fired tear gas and baton-charged hundreds of lawyers and activists who were trying to force into the Judges Colony to meet sacked chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday.

The scuffle began when protesters tried to stop a car that they said belonged to Attorney General Malik Qayyum, and shouted slogans against him. When the driver sped away, the angry protesters stopped another car and damaged it. Another group of protesters tried to tear aside the barbed wire surrounding the sacked chief justice’s house using a four-wheel drive vehicle.

The police fired tear gas shells and beat some of the protesters with batons to frighten the mob, injuring a reporter who also lost his camera during the stampede that followed. The lawyers then re-organised themselves to protest again.

Addressing the gathering, Advocate Ather Minallah, who is also an unannounced spokesman of sacked chief justice, said lawyers and activists from the civil society came to visit the sacked chief justice because the government had announced that he was free.

“The government has been lying since November 3,” he said. “It has been saying that the sacked judges are free, but actually they are not.”He said Balaj, the disabled younger son of the chief justice, was “the youngest political prisoner”.

He called for President Pervez Musharraf to step down after his allies had lost the elections.

link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C03%5C04%5Cstory_4-3-2008_pg7_18

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