LAHORE, Dec 11 (APP):Three patients including two women lost their lives due to non-availability of prompt medical treatment after a mob of lawyers broke into Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) and attacked the doctors, paramedics and attendants of the patients besides damaging medical instruments and vehicles parked in the hospital.
The lawyers broke the main entrance gate of the hospital, mirrors of cars parked inside the premises of the hospital, besides pelting stones at the office of Medical Superintendent of the hospital. They ransacked the emergency ward and broke the window panes creating a scene of havoc.
The lawyers also set a police van on fire outside PIC, creating law and order situation in Shadman area.
Hundreds of patients remained unattended as the doctors and paramedical staff left the hospital after the lawyers attacked the PIC.
The anti-riot force launched an operation to disperse the lawyers who occupied the entire Jail Road and Jilani park in front of PIC.
Later, the lawyers also staged a protest demonstration at G.P.O and outside Civil Secretariat and blocked the road for traffic due to which masses had to face immense problems to reach their destinations.
Some of the lawyers also manhandled Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, who reached the PIC to calm down the angry lawyers and tried to talk with them. While, Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid was also present at the PIC premises for a meeting with doctors.
Later, in a joint news conference, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid and Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan termed the incident unfortunate and highly condemnable. They confirmed arrest of violent lawyers from the spot and assured that the government was committed to bring the perpetrators of this violent incident to justice at all costs.
Basharat Raja said Prime Minister Imran Khan had sought report from the Punjab government regarding the incident in which violent lawyers attacked the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC).
He said Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar after suspending his engagements returned from Islamabad and chaired a law and order meeting.
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar presided over a Cabinet Committee for Law & Order meeting at Chief Minister Office here in which initial report about violence and destruction caused by the lawyers at PIC was presented.
Sardar Usman Buzdar condemned the brutal violence committed by lawyers at PIC and sought a report from CCPO Lahore and Provincial Secretary for Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education.
He, while addressing the participants said the writ of government would be maintained at every cost. The rumpus and destruction caused by lawyers at PIC was an illogical and illegal act. Legal action would be taken against those lawyers who took law into their hands, he emphasized.
Usman Buzdar said he was grieved over the death of few patients due to non-availability of treatment facilities. The torture on Provincial Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan was also highly regrettable, he added.
He directed to immediately restore provision of healthcare facilities to the patients in the hospital and also directed to restore all damages without any delay.
He said the damaged vehicles of doctors would be compensated, adding the Punjab government after taking account of damages would also pay compensation for damages.
Usman Buzdar was apprised during the meeting that 34 lawyers had been arrested who were found involved in committing this tragic incident and Rangers had also been called.
The chief minister also constituted an investigation committee headed by Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat, whereas Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Inspector General Police, Additional Chief Secretary Home and Secretary Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education would be included in the committee.
The committee would conduct inquiry of violence and destruction committed by lawyers and later submit a report to the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Grand Health Alliance (GHA) in a media conference demanded for registering an FIR carrying Section 7 of Anti Terrorism Act against the attackers and this case must be tried in military court. The Alliance also demanded for putting in place a foolproof security apparatus in and around the hospitals and making legislation in this regard.
The GHA announced to observe three black days, however, doctors will continue to perform duties with black bandages on their arms.
While, the lawyers community also announced one day strike across Punjab tomorrow (Thursday), that can also be extended for more days till settlement of the issues.