Police baton charge, arrest doctors in Quetta
PMA, YDA Punjab announce support to protesting Balochistan doctors
Police resorted to baton charge and arrested several doctors as the Young Doctors Association (YDA) Balochistan staged a sit-in in the red zone near the Chief Minister’s House in Quetta on Monday.
The police action came as the doctors and paramedical staff wanted to move towards the Chief Minister’s House while refusing to end their protest over the failure to provide the protection gear amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Footage available with the 24NewsHD clearly shows the police using force against the protesters and dragging them into vehicles.
Meanwhile, the YDA Punjab warned that they would stop working in the hospitals if the arrested persons were not released by 8pm.
Similarly, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) announced its full support to the YDA, saying they will stand by the young doctors in the future course of action.
The announcement came at an emergency meeting of YDA Balochistan after the use of force against the protesting doctors.
Earlier, as the YDA had announced a protest against the Balochistan government, a large contingent of police was deployed around the Governor’s House and Chief Minister’s House on Monday.
They had planned to besiege the Governor’s House and Chief Minister’s House over the government’s inability to provide PPE [personal protection equipment] to enable the doctors and other healthcare staff to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The police were also stationed around the Civil Hospital from where the doctors brought out a rally towards the Chief Minster’s House.
According to the doctors, they are protesting against the government’s callousness and to protect their genuine rights.
They said 12 doctors had so far been infected by the virus and the government’s claims of providing the health services only remained a claim.
The government had not paid attention to their demands despite being repeatedly informed about the grave situation, the doctors added.
Earlier on Saturday, the Balochistan government had suspended 44 doctors over failure to join duty in Taftan during the coronavirus outbreak in the province.
But the Young Doctors Association said it will continue protest against the lack of safety kits for doctors treating coronavirus patients in Sheikh Zayed Hospital Quetta.
They resumed their protest after postponing as Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal had earlier assured them of addressing the issue immediately.
Last week, the YDA Balochistan had went on strike over the government’s lack of interest in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.