LAHORE - The district government Wednesday informed the Lahore High Court that it directed the protesters to move their sit-in from The Mall to Nasser Bagh — a place designed for holding rallies, sit-ins and public gatherings following the court order to ban such activities on one of the busy points of the capital.

Appearing before the full bench headed by Justice Aminuddin Khan, Lahore DC Sumair Ahmad Syed submitted report on petition questioning opposition parties’ sit-in on The Mall. The officer said that the government duly informed the organisers that a ban had been imposed by the LHC on holding public gathering on The Mall.

He said they were informed that holding protest or sin-in would be contempt of court.  The official said that the parties had also been told that the Punjab government prohibited holding of the public gatherings, rallies etc on the area under the section 144 with request to change their venue.

The IGP also reported to the court, saying the public meeting held by the PAT on Jan 17 on The Mall after the court granted permission to the parties till midnight.

The court was informed that after the last year’s suicide hit at The Mall, 25 cases were registered against different persons for violating Section 144.

A law officer told the court that the order to ban media coverage of the sit-in was duly implemented by Pemra.

After hearing arguments of the respondents, the bench directed district commissioner and Pemra to submit replies and adjourned the hearing until Feb 27.

In a separate matter against hunting of Houbara Bustard, the LHC Chief Justice withdrew the ban on hunting of Houbara Bustard, with directive to the registrar office to fix the petitions against the hunting permits issued to foreign dignitaries before an appropriate bench afresh.

The chief justice through a verbal order announced on Jan 25, on the basis of a report submitted by a local commission, barred the hunting of Houbara Bustard invoking the precautionary principle.