The Lahore High Court directed Deputy Commissioner Lahore Rafia Haider and the organizers of the Aurat March to sit together till 2 pm today and decide the place of the march on Women’s Day.
The organizing committee of Aurat March had requested permission from the district administration to take out a rally in Nasir Bagh of Lahore on March 8 and then march around the park. Still, Deputy Commissioner Rafia Haider rejected this request due to a threat alert from the security agencies. Rejected.
Later, the organizers of the Aurat March challenged the matter in the Lahore High Court on the Deputy Commissioner’s refusal to allow the march on March 4. Deputy Commissioner Lahore, CCPO, and others were parties to the petition.
During the previous hearing, Justice Anwar Hussain summoned DC Rafia Haider and SSP Dost Mohammad to court today. When the hearing resumed today, the judge remarked that these matters are brought before the court every time.
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The DC told the court that Nasir Bagh had been requested for the Aurat March. It was revealed in the meeting of the District Intelligence Committee that the law and order situation in Lahore is not good. The organizers had submitted a request to take out the rally at Nasir Bagh.
He said that ‘Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches are also going on in the city due to the movement of players all the time, and security is required. The same conclusion was reached in the second meeting of the Intelligence Committee. It was said that the security situation in Lahore is not good, while the public prosecutor suggested that the march could be held outside the Lahore Press Club.
Justice Anwar Hussain inquired why are meetings and processions being held in the city. When a political leader appears, the police are mobilized’, to which the DC Lahore replied that there was a clash during the Aurat March last year.
The judge, however, quashed the DC’s notification of disallowing the rally, saying the district administration could not stop the organizers from holding a ‘women’s march’ in the city.
The court observed that maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the administration, and the organizers of the Aurat March should also take responsibility that there will be no riot.
Justice Anwar Hussain remarked that when political parties take out rallies and sit with the district administration. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till 2 pm.
It should be noted that the organizers of Aurat March had taken the stand in the petition that DC Lahore’s decision to ban Aurat March is illegal because Aurat March is about protecting women’s rights.
The petition filed in the Lahore High Court said that the ban on the peaceful march violates the constitution, so the DC’s decision regarding the ban on the women’s march should be annulled.
The organizers of Aurat March had requested the court to suspend the decision of DC Lahore till the final decision on the petition.