Police baton charge doctors in Quetta
QUETTA: Police used teargas against protesting doctors and baton-charged them before arresting over 40 doctors who attempted to stage a sit-in in front of the Chief Minister Secretariat on Tuesday in their quest to press the government to accept their demands.
Confirming the arrests of the doctors, the police has said 40 doctors were taken into custody for creating a law and order problem and were being kept at the Cantonment Police Station.
A leader of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) Balochistan, however, disputes the figures of the police and says over 100 doctors were arrested and 20 injured. The police say nine doctors are admitted in the civil hospital and are being treated for wounds sustained during the shelling and baton-charge.
The young doctors reached Hockey Chowk in the form of a protest rally and attempted to move forward to the CM House to lodge a protest there. However, the police stopped them from moving ahead by erecting barricades and used teargas and aerial firing to disperse the protestors. Several doctors and journalists covering the event were wounded. The police rounded up the protesting doctors and took them away. After some time, the remaining doctors dispersed.
Later, the YDA Balochistan announced that it would observe a strike in the emergency sections of all the government-run hospitals from Wednesday (today).
The young doctors have demanded an immediate release of all the doctors arrested by the police and a judicial inquiry into the incident as well as stern action against those involved in the attack. Otherwise, they say, they will intensify their protest and extend it to private hospitals of the province as well. The final decision to this effect will be taken at the YDA meeting today.
A senior office bearer of the YDA said it was impossible for doctors to serve the people when they were being abused and tortured. He appealed that doctors be backed in their demands and said they would never be frightened by the police’s heavy-handedness.