Srinagar: Lawyers in Kashmir on Thursday boycotted courts for the day protesting the proposed amendment to the Ranbir Penal Code, special to Jammu and Kashmir, to provide immunity to the Army during its operations in the state.

Work in the local courts remained suspended on Thursday as members of the Kashmir bar association stayed away in daylong protest against Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's statement that the Criminal Procedure Code would be amended to provide immunity to the army during its anti-militancy operations in the state.

The protesting lawyers raised slogans for complete revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state.

After assembling inside the Saddar court complex adjacent to city centre Lal Chowk here, the lawyers tried to take out a protest march but police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed in strength prevented them from coming out of the court complex.

"The idea behind the proposed amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code or the Ranbir Penal Code is to have the temporary AFSPA replaced by a permanent law that would continue the immunity to the Army in the state," said a protesting lawyer here.

The protest is also against the state government's decision to transfer the registration powers from the judicial courts to the executive courts here.

Following stiff opposition to the proposed amendment to the Ranbir code from the civil society, lawyers and opposition Peoples Democratic Party, the Chief Minister has said the idea behind the move was not to have the AFSPA replaced by a permanent law.

"Nothing would be done that would go against the interests of the people," Omar said following the fresh controversy.

(Agencies)