Lahore: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday issued notices to the Punjab government and police seeking answers on the alleged use of force against visually impaired protesters demonstrating against the state’s “failure” to provide permanent government jobs to them. The petition filed on Tuesday by the Judicial Activism Panel in the LHC had said that the protest earlier this week - in which law enforcement officials allegedly used force against protesters – was a continuation of several demonstrations that had been taking place in various areas of Lahore against the Punjab government’s failure to “give due rights, due jobs and salaries to visually-impaired persons”. The petition claimed that differently-abled people were not employed as permanent employees by government departments and the state even “failed to release their salaries on time”. On March 6, a group of visually-impaired people was headed towards the Punjab Chief Minister’s House to protest in favour of their demands. However, instead of addressing their demands police allegedly baton-charged protesters to prevent them from reaching their destination, leaving several demonstrators “badly injured”, according to the petition. Prosecutor Advocate Azhar Siddique, during Wednesday’s hearing argued that the constitution gave every citizen the right to protest. Furthermore, Siddique said, the use of violence against peaceful protesters was a violation of articles 9 and 14. Justice Shujaat Ali Khan, who heard the case, asked the defence counsel if the police had any other modern technique of maintaining law and order that did not entail beating people. He ordered the Punjab police chief or, in his stead, a responsible police official, to appear in court for the next hearing of the case. The case was adjourned until March 27. Published in Daily Times, March 8th 2018.