At Least 12 People Dead After Lawyers’ Protest Turns Violent Outside PIC


At least 12 people dead after lawyers’ protest turns violent outside PIC

According to the sources, the people died after the doctors and paramedical staff left the ICU and other wards of the emergency bloc to  save their lives from angry lawyers.

LAHORE: (Urdu Point/Pakistan Point News-Dec 11th, 2019) At least twelve patients died after protest of hundreds of lawyers turned violent outside Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) —the only state of the art hospital in Punjab for cardiac patients here on Wednesday.

According to the sources, the critical patients admitted to Punjab Institute of Cardiology lost their lives as the lawyers entered into the operation theater, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and other wards of the emergency bloc of the hospital. The doctors left the patients in their wards and ran away to save their lives from the angry lawyers.

The government officials said that four people of criticial condition died due to the lawyers’ protest. The women and children were left helpless inside the premises of the hospital.

The eye witnesses and the live coverage of the protest by local tv channels showed lawyers throwing stones at the windows of the hospital—especially the windows of emergency bloc of the hospital.

Punjab Institute of Cardiology which is located at Jail road is the only standard hospital for the cardiac patients in Punjab. The patients from other parts of the country also prefer their treatment at PIC. The police sources said that the issue between the lawyers and doctors was resolved yesterday night but the lawyers got angry when reportedly a video went viral on social media wherein the doctors made fun of the lawyers. At around 1 pm, large number lawyers including the females marched towards the PIC, broke the main entrance and entered into the premises of the hospital. They damaged cars and ransacked the windows of the hospital. The police and anti-riot force also reached there but the lawyers had already entered into the hospital. The police launched the operation and vacated the hospital from the protesting lawyers but later the lawyers again entered into the emergency bloc. At this, the police used water cannons and tear gas to disperses the lawyers but the lawyers started throwing stones at the police and hospital building.

Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the incident and sought reports from the Punjab Chief Secretary and Punjab Inspector General of Police. The PM also directed the Punjab CM to immediately reach back to Lahore and resolve the issue. Earlier, Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan was taken by the lawyers and beaten. The lawyers took him from his head and subjected him to violence and luckily the minister escaped from their custody. Later, talking to the reporters, Chohan said that the lawyers tried to abduct him and termed their act very shameful. He said strict action would be taken against the lawyers who did this.

“They attacked the hospital, disrupted the operations at emergency wards of the hospital, leaving hundreds of seriously ill patients injured,” said Chohan. “It is very shameful,” he further said.

The law makers strongly condemned the behavior of lawyers saying that it was totally unprofessional and unacceptable. “I saw it first time in my life that the lawyers attacked any hospital,” said Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, adding that “ It was not expected from such educated segment of the society,”. “They went inside the operation theatre and disrupted operations at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology,”.

Aitzaz Ahsan, the renowned lawyer, said that he was feeling ashamed over what the lawyers have done at the hospital. “We launched a movement but we never broke even a signal at the road,” said Aitzaz Ahsan.

Taking notice of the lawyers’ attack, Punjab CM Buzdar said that strict action would be taken against the responsible lawyers. He also directed the hospital administration to take strict action against those who were found involved in the matter.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.